How Rural Arizona Gets to Sesame Street

Project: Research project

Project Details


How Rural Arizona Gets to Sesame Street How Rural Arizona Gets to Sesame Street Arizona PBS (KAET) is a local PBS station that serves the entire state of Arizona with its outreach, and 85% with its broadcast. Over 60% of the states population lies within the capitol city and surrounding valley of Phoenix, Arizona. This leaves few other areas for metropolis populations, including Tucson, then followed by Yuma, Prescott/Prescott Valley, and Flagstaff. For the Sesame Street In Communities Initiative, Arizona PBS felt it necessary to focus on the most rural, and highly vulnerable communities, heading west and north along the Colorado River. There are several resources in place at Arizona PBS to support the Sesame Street in Communities 50th Anniversary Station Engagement Initiative in our rural towns and neighborhoods. Our station receives competitive grant funding through the state tobacco tax dollars supporting early childhood education, health and kindergarten readiness, called First Things First. The La Paz/Mohave counties in northwest Arizona border the Colorado River, California, Nevada and Utah. Several communities scatter the desert landscape, each with their own unique population and landmarks. From the southern-most point of Parker, Arizona to the northern town and school in Dolan Springs, Arizona, families are involved with Arizona PBS through local outreach events, early literacy series and Love & Logic parent support groups facilitated by local educators. Arizona PBS provides train the trainer professional development, curriculum and other resources from PBS LearningMedia and Ready to Learn, and uses funds to provide books, materials, and meals to families with children birth to age 5 as incentives to participate. The most common question our Arizona PBS education staff based in Lake Havasu, Arizona receives in her visits to schools, health and family centers, faith-based locations, libraries and other stops is Will you really be coming back? Our team is enthusiastic about applying to participate in this initiative because our answer to those communities is always a resounding Yes! First Things First helps fund our staff member who works from her home office to travel throughout the two counties. She, along with support from 2 other staff based in Yuma, Arizona, as well as some of us from the Phoenix office provide support and travel with her when possible to share additional services, including early childhood Associates and Bachelors degree scholarship opportunities and free/low cost professional development through the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce & Professional Development Registry. This work is also funded by the tobacco tax dollars. The Registry team has wrapped promotion around the free online professional development courses for family, friends, and neighbor care providers as well as center, Head Start and school district early childhood educators. The response has been extremely positive. While open-entry/open-exit, there have been 267 complete the Sesame Street In Communities online offerings in partnership with our local Registry team. We are currently exploring how to encourage higher completion rates and evidence appearing on the individuals professional development (PD) report in the Registry. The more we promote locally through our regional staff and early childhood partners, the more this type of PD seems to resonate with these professionals. For each of the above reasons funded for Arizona PBS work across the La Paz/Mohave counties, Arizona PBS would love to incorporate the SSIC 50th Anniversary Celebrations into its existing structure of services. Existing services include: local Arizona PBS staff already working with community partners to provide family resource fairs, early childhood literacy workshops for families, earned/paid media to promote early childhood healthy development and school readiness, and early childhood professional development.
Effective start/end date11/21/192/14/20


  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB): $10,000.00


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