Education is at the heart of everything WXXI does.

I’ve said many times that education is at the heart of everything we do at WXXI.

I recently had a chance to talk about our many educational services with a group that appreciates and understands what we’re trying to achieve in strengthening the educational life of our community -- the Webster Retired Educators Association.  Allow me to share some excerpts from my meeting in Webster:

 “…it’s a pleasure to meet with teachers, because you understand that WXXI is more than a cultural organization… it’s part of the educational fabric of our community.

You know that our children’s programming helps our youngest viewers be “Ready to Learn” when they enter school.

Our WXXI Educational Outreach Center provides training for educators and parents in how to use Ready to Learn programs, activities, books and websites to increase children’s success in school and in life.

With the support of the Rochester Teachers’ Association, NYSUT and the American Federation of Teachers in New York City, WXXI produces Homework Hotline, live, four nights a week, and makes it available statewide, touching thousands of lives with every episode. Video clips from each show are made available on-demand for use in the classroom and at home to improve learning outcomes.

We just celebrated the 50th anniversary of Assignment: The World, the longest running instructional program on television which is currently broadcast on 143 stations nationally.  The series is also made available on-demand over the web to schools nationwide to improve student understanding of global issues and current events.

Our partnerships with local adult literacy organizations help hundreds of people throughout the region achieve their G.E.Ds, learn to speak English, and improve their workforce readiness. WXXI was designated by the New York State Education Department as the official training agency to assist our partner organizations in improving their adult literacy services and outcomes.

And we make more and more educational resources available online, free of charge, to teachers and students through VITAL, Video in Teaching and Learning, a public broadcasting video curricular web service.  

WXXI provides community events and gathering places for lifelong learners and family fun. Our popular open house, scheduled this year for October 2, regularly draws over 3,000 people.  Our Speaking of Women’s Health conference, scheduled for September 16, regularly sells out in less than an hour to about a thousand people that want to improve their health. Our free “Community Cinema” drew crowds that wanted to engage with an expert panel after watching an Independent Lens film. And, of course, we are out at many community events meeting the public that we serve.

Remember, before there was “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel, there was Nature on public television.  Before there was a “History Channel,” we presented The American Experience.  And the list goes on and on for high quality programming that inspires lifelong learning.”

Whether it’s children’s programming, our prime-time schedule, news and public affairs or music on the radio, WXXI strives to educate and strengthen our community.

This summer the studios are busy at 280 State Street as we’re in production on season seven of our national television health series, Second Opinion.  A co-production with the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), Second Opinion educates people throughout the country about important health issues – and how to improve doctor-patient communications.

I am proud to announce that the program brought home three Silver Communicator Awards in the category of Health and Wellness. The Communicator Awards, presented by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, is the leading international awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals. Second Opinion’s “HIV in Middle Age” episode, “H1N1 Special Edition” program, and “Female Sexual Dysfunction” episode garnered the awards.

I encourage you to check our television and radio schedules online to keep up with the latest productions and programs.  Most of all, thank you for listening, watching, clicking-on and supporting WXXI!