NEW YORK, NY—Ruth Ann Burns, Vice President and Director of the Educational Resources Center at Thirteen/WNET and Zoë Baird, President of the Markle Foundation announced today the launch of Learning Adventures in Citizenship, an interactive project designed to promote student participation and volunteerism in their communities. Acting as an educational companion to Ric Burns’ six-part series, New York: A Documentary Film, Learning Adventures in Citizenship provides a national, standards-based Web curricula for middle school students and their teachers, to teach them how they can take responsibility for solving problems in their communities. Developed with, and underwritten by the Markle Foundation, Learning Adventures is part of the Foundation’s $100 million investment over the next three-to-five years to help ensure that public needs are served by emerging communications media and information technologies.
Learning Adventures in Citizenship takes visitors through six consecutive time periods in New York City history. This virtual experience in time travel is brought to life through interactive learning material, such as QuickTime video, GIF and Flash animation, audio, student activities, lesson plans, and a “Citizenship Gallery”-forms that students can submit of their classroom and community projects across America. With an official launch on Friday, October 1st, Learning Adventures in Citizenship can be found at two locations, www.wnet.org/newyork and www.pbs.org/newyork. New York: A Documentary Film premiers on Sunday, November 14th on PBS.
Specifically, Learning Adventures in Citizenship includes the following components:
- “Learning Adventures,” which presents interactive environments that contain learning material and student activities; · “For Teachers,” which contains lesson plans, a primer on social science inquiry, and discussion forum; · “Citizenship Gallery,” which features student works illustrating individual or classroom community projects; · “Citizenship Research Resources,” a guide to research and citizenship resources; and · “Learning Adventure Contest,” a national citizenship contest for students and children at home.
“In a sense, visitors to the site will be given the proverbial key to the city of New York,” said Ruth Ann Burns, Vice President and Director of Thirteen/WNET’s Educational Resources Center. “Hopefully, they’ll use that key to unlock the doors to their own communities, to explore the past, present and future of those communities, and to discover the many opportunities for participation and volunteerism.”
According to Zoë Baird, President of the Markle Foundation, Learning Adventures in Citizenship embodies some of the best things the Internet can offer children and parents. Learning Adventures in Citizenship is an important and engaging way for children to use their own media to discover how they can contribute to their communities through the lessons of those who built our hometown—New York City. So many key elements of Learning Adventures—from video clips and animation to audio and online contests—make this an exciting and fun way to learn about not only New York, but communities across America. Learning Adventures in Citizenship is a multi-disciplinary resource that can be used in the classroom or at home. Most important, it gets young people involved in their community.”
Learning Adventures in Citizenship includes educational activities in social studies, science, technology, language arts, music and the fine arts and places them within the context of New York City’s economic, political, technological and cultural evolution. It is built around an interactive multimedia knowledge base that synthesizes and expands on the information included in New York: A Documentary Film and makes it available to teachers and students in a creative assortment of lesson plans, online activities, classroom and team projects and individual assignments. In addition, teachers can take advantage of citizenship research resources that are organized by state and topic.
wNetStation, Thirteen/WNET’s Web site, is a project of the New Media Group at Thirteen/WNET’s Kravis Multimedia Education Center. Ruth Ann Burns is Vice President of the Educational Resources Center. Barry Levine is Director of wNetStation and Online Programs at Thirteen/WNET. Anthony Chapman is the senior producer of Learning Adventures in Citizenship. New York: A Documentary Film, a special presentation of The American Experience, is a production of Steeplechase Films in association with WGBH Boston, Thirteen/WNET in New York, and the New-York Historical Society. Major support for the series is provided by The Chase Manhattan Corporation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Ford Foundation, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Television Viewers and PBS, and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Additional funding is provided by the J. M. Kaplan Fund, the Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation Inc., Rosalind P. Walter, Central Parking Corporation, Glenwood Management Corporation, Judith and Burton Resnick, The Sheldon H. Solow Foundation, and Alan Wiener/American Property Financing Inc.
Thirteen/WNET in New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters and Charlie Rose—as well as the work of Bill Moyers—to audiences nationwide. As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen/WNET reaches millions of viewers each week—airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as City Arts and Reel New York. With educational and community outreach projects that enhance value of its productions, Thirteen/WNET takes television “out of the box.” And as broadcast and digital media converge, Thirteen/WNET is blazing trails in the creation of Web sites, CD-ROMs, educational software, and other cutting-edge media products.