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Posts Tagged ‘North End’

Gerena_225x173WGBY announces the launch of “Divided We Stand: A Street in Our School,” a special Connecting Point series that will present various sides of one of the area’s longtime community issues: the tunnel beneath I-91 that runs through the Germán Gerena Community School in Springfield’s North End.

Built in 1973, the school currently serves 700 children.  Because of the building’s close proximity to I-91, a tunnel was built on the lower level of the school so that students and members of the larger community, divided once the interstate was constructed, could safely walk from one side of their neighborhood to the other. Over time, “the tunnel,” as residents refer to it, became more than a passageway linking Plainfield and Main Streets. It became a pathway providing access to varied community services. A generation came to depend on the organizations that filled space within the tunnel itself.

Yet, due largely to extensive flooding and structural damage, time has changed this once vibrant space. Community spaces now stand empty.As residents and city leaders discuss their vision for the Gerena School and tunnel, WGBY explores its past and present. Viewers will learn just how much happens in this place they don’t see.

For the first time, WGBY will provide Spanish subtitles for the series of segments, airing periodically between March and May. The series’ first segment, available online, included a discussion about the school and the status of repairs to the tunnel with Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno and School Superintendent Daniel Warwick.

Future air dates are as follows: March 27, April 24, April 30 & May 20-22.

WGBY invites viewer feedback and especially encourages people who live near Gerena, largely members of the city’s Latino community, to contribute memories, stories or opinions throughout the series’ run.

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Back in February, we announced that WGBY and our coalition of local partners would be launching the North End Center for Literacy and Learning, a project focused on connecting parents, families, and educators in the North End with early learning resources.  We thought we’d update you on what’s going on now.

A community calendar of events has been posted through June with activities at the Center each week.  Open lab times are available for families to drop-in after school and play with touch tablets or PBS Kids Lab games on the big SMARTboard screen.  Other events include themed family days like one this past week, El Dia de los Niños, at which we celebrated children’s learning.  Take a look at this video to see what the Center looks like now:

Beyond events at the Center, WGBY staff have been making site visits to partners like HeadStart, Square One, Springfield YMCA, and the Springfield Parks Department.  At each visit, students are given hands-on time with tablets to play learning games and see how technology can support what they learn in school. 

For more information about the Center and Ready To Learn: North End, visit our program website.

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On Friday, February 24 join WGBY and their community partners as we launch the North End Center for Literacy and Learning.  Supported by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the U.S. Department of Education, this center seeks to support the North End community of Springfield with innovative resources for learning using the PBS Kids Lab.  From 3:30-7:00pm, join us for tours of the center, and meet and greet with Curious George, and an opening ceremony at 5:30pm.  Here’s the invite for this event.  We hope to see you there!

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WGBY has recently received an award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) as a demonstration site to test math and literacy content developed through the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn grant.

Working with a coalition of partners, WGBY will implement Ready To Learn: North End, a project that will use educational content on multiple platforms — including video, online games, mobile apps, and off-line activities — that builds an educational experience for kids using innovative technologies. Partners for this project include Springfield Public Schools, Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield HeadStart, Square One, Springfield City Library, Springfield YMCA, Springfield Parent Academy, Springfield Parks Department, The North End Campus Coalition, North End Outreach Network, Cherish Every Child, among others.

Throughout the year, WGBY and their community partners will collaborative:
• Launch the North End Center for Literacy at Learning at the Gerena Community School;
• Train educators on the use of Ready To Learn content through face-to-face training;
• Utilize a peer mentoring approach for training through the use of digital ambassadors, connecting teens with younger youth to demonstrate new technologies;
• Create opportunities for parents and children to play learning games experience how technology can support early learning.

We will keep you posted with updates about our project!  To check out some of the newest PBS KIDS games, visit the PBS KIDS Lab.

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