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WSIU Expands PBS KIDS Library Corner to New Locations This Summer

For Immediate Release
Saturday, July 5, 2010

WSIU Expands PBS KIDS Library Corner to New Locations This Summer

Library Corners part of PBS KIDS Raising Readers National Early Childhood Literacy Initiative;
Over 200 Libraries Participating Nationwide

Carbondale, Ill. – WSIU Public Television, a public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), is one of over 30 PBS stations expanding the PBS KIDS Raising Readers Library Corners program in local libraries across the country this summer. The Library Corners are designed to give children ages two through eight the opportunity to strengthen their literacy skills through free, fun activities at their local public or school library. 

This summer, WSIU is partnering with Herrin City Library, DuQuoin Public Library, Marion Carnegie Library, Eldorado Public Library, and the Carbondale Public Library to launch this initiative, with the goal of reaching hundreds of children in Southern Illinois.

“Research shows that providing PBS KIDS Raising Readers high-quality, media-rich educational materials to young children can play a key role in their development of important literacy skills,” said Greg Petrowich, executive director of WSIU Public Broadcasting. “By expanding the number of PBS KIDS Raising Readers Library Corners in our community, we're able to also expand the reach and impact of these invaluable resources.”

Mississippi River Radio station Z-100 will present live radio remotes at each of WSIU's Library Corner events this summer, so kids will have an opportunity to share the fun on the air.

Activities will include special appearances by PBS KIDS character SuperWHY!, vocabulary games, reading togther, creating books, and hands-on learning at the online sites PBS KIDS Island (ages 3-6) and The Great Word Quest (ages 6-8) at Both online destinations are designed to help kids master literacy skills at eight different levels in a fun, interactive way, while parents can get progress reports on how well their children are doing.

WSIU's PBS KIDS Library Corner schedule is as follows:

June 10, 10am-12pm
Herrin City Library, 120 N. 13th Street,
Librarian Irena Just, 942-6109,
Live radio remote: Tracy McSherry-McKown of New Country Z100-FM (9-11am)

June 17, 1-3pm
DuQuoin Public Library, 28 S. Washington Street,
Librarian Pam Urban, (618) 542-5045,
Live radio remote: Tracy McSherry-McKown of New Country Z100-FM (1-3pm)

June 30, 3:30-4:30pm
Marion Carnegie Library, 206 S. Market Street,
Librarian Amy Gilkey, 993-5935,
Live radio remote: Lia Mira of Today's Hit Music CIL-FM (2:30-4:30pm)

July 1, 2-3pm (plus, morning workshop for parents)
Adult workshop:  public media resources from 10-11:30am
Children's activities:  2-3pm
Eldorado Public Library, 1001 Grant Street,
Librarian Brenda Funkhouser, 273-7922,
Live radio remote: Tracy McSherry-McKown of New Country Z100-FM (1-3pm)

July 20, 1-3pm
Carbondale Public Library, 405 W. Main Street,
Librarian Pat Luebke, 457-0354,
Live radio remote: Lia Mira of Today's Hit Music CIL-FM (1-3pm)

As part of the initiative, each Library Corner is equipped with an array of multimedia resources including 26 interactive reading activities and a corresponding DVD. The activities and clips were developed and taken from research-based PBS KIDS Raising Readers early childhood literacy television programming, including Sesame Street, WordWorld, SuperWHY!, Between the Lions, Martha Speaks, and The Electric Company.

The Library Corners also are equipped with flexible visual materials that feature friendly and beloved PBS characters and also offer a welcoming setting where children can play literacy games on a computer, read a book or watch an educational and interactive DVD. Additionally, libraries receive ongoing implementation and support from WSIU throughout the summer.

Other resources include media-rich activities that range from librarian-led activities to self-directed games and content for kids. All of these materials were created using a literacy framework based on National Reading Panel of 2000 recommendations and encompass skills such as letter recognition, print awareness, and vocabulary instruction.

“At a time when funding for all types of community programs remains scarce, we are especially grateful to receive these additional Library Corners from our partner WSIU,” said Irena Just, Assistant Librarian and Children's Librarian at Herrin City Library. “Both WSIU and our region's libraries are dedicated to helping young children develop the skills they need to become life-long readers and a partnership like this provides tangible benefits to our very youngest library patrons.”

Twenty markets across the country, including Southern Illinois, piloted the PBS KIDS Raising Readers Library Corners project last year. This year's expansion of the project broadens its reach to over 30 stations and over 200 libraries nationwide, including elementary school libraries.

The PBS KIDS Raising Readers Library Corners are provided to communities through PBS KIDS Raising Readers, a national initiative using the power of media to help improve the reading skills of young children, with an emphasis on children from low-income families.  The effort is funded by a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education, part of a cooperative agreement with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), PBS and The Ready To Learn Partnership.

About WSIU
WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department. WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. With positive role models and content designed to nurture a child's total well-being, family and educator resources – including PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! television series,,,, and – PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's nearly 360 public television stations, serving more than 124 million people on-air and online each month. For more information on specific shows supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit

About CPB
CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1000 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related on-line services.

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