CONWAY, Ark. — Building on the success of "Arkansas AMI," Arkansas PBS is working to keep families learning all summer long with Camp AR PBS, a collection of free, fun online resources, programming, newsletters and more to help prevent the "summer slide," where kids can lose two to three months of learning progress between school years.
"This summer is unlike any other, and we are here to help you make the most of it whether playing, exploring, creating or simply having fun as a family," Arkansas PBS Executive Director Courtney Pledger said. "For those who got to know us during ‘Arkansas AMI’ and those who depend on us every summer for top notch learning resources, we are excited to present Camp AR PBS."
Families can be a part of Camp AR PBS in two simple steps:
• By downloading the Summer Fun Checklist at myarkansaspbs.org/parents.
• By signing up for the Camp AR PBS newsletter, which will feature ideas to help complete the Summer Fun Checklist and sneak peeks of new projects, at myarkansaspbs.org/engage.
Kids who complete the Summer Fun Checklist can enter to win an Arkansas PBS KIDS prize pack by emailing a photo of the completed checklist to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Families are encouraged to download the Engage Arkansas PBS app to access PBS KIDS games, share photos using specialized photo frames, watch content and stay connected to summer learning opportunities.
In July, the network will premiere a new, four-episode pre-K-2 children’s program, "Blueberry’s Clubhouse," featuring Blueberry, a fun-loving puppet guide to engaging and insightful activities for students out of school for the summer months. Blueberry will look at the stories, animals and laughs in The Natural State in a broadcast series beginning July 24 and a digital series beginning July 20. "Blueberry’s Clubhouse" is produced in partnership with the Arkansas Arts Center.
One focus of Camp AR PBS will be literacy.
Winners of the Arkansas PBS KIDS Writers Contest will be featured reading their original stories each Thursday at 2 p.m. throughout the summer at facebook.com/arkansaspbs, youtube.com/arkansaspbs and myarkansaspbs.org/writerscontest. Episodes of the digital series "GobbledyBook," which promotes a love of reading and books in children through videos and activities, will be featured each Saturday on the Arkansas PBS Facebook page. Reading charts, bookmarks and PBS Kids activity booklets will be shared statewide through the Arkansas State Library System.
Other resources available at myarkansaspbs.org/parents will include:
* Weekly blog posts with suggested summer reading and activities.
* Summer learning materials, including downloadable activity booklets, printable activities, a reading tracking chart and information about how to start a book club.
* Additional resources from Camp PBS KIDS and Camp PBS LearningMedia.
Two virtual summer camps and field trips for ages 8-12 will be held in July with a spotlight on STEM education through the agriculture industry and fitness and wellness. On July 21, campers will take a virtual field trip to H & H Rice Field and Flying C Beef Ranch to learn about agriculture, bugs, cooking and fitness and wellness. On July 24, campers will take a virtual field trip to Simon Dairy, and activities will include making ice cream, kitchen safety and fitness and wellness. Space is limited, and registration is required at myarkansaspbs.org/parents. The camps are produced in partnership with the University of Arkansas Faulkner County Cooperative Extension Service.
Students in grades 6-12 can tune into the At-Home Learning Block on AR PBS WORLD (ARPBS-4) weekdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. through August. The lineup of science, history and English language arts programming is coordinated with related learning assets from Arkansas PBS LearningMedia (myarkansaspbs.pbslearningmedia.org), a free online service of thousands of educational resources co-managed by WGBH and PBS.