Education Newsletter January 2021 | Louisiana Public Broadcasting
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Louisiana Young Heroes Call for Nominations

Louisiana Public Broadcasting is proud to announce the 26th annual Louisiana Young Heroes program and the statewide call for nominations of students to be recognized as Louisiana Young Heroes in 2021. A Young Hero is defined as an exceptional young person who has excelled in academics, given significantly of themselves through public service, overcome adversity, exhibited extraordinary heroism, or inspired others through their deeds and strength of character.

Nominees must be Louisiana students in grades 9-12, enrolled in an academic institution or homeschool program, and cannot be older than 18 years of age. 

Nominations and supporting materials should be submitted through the online form at The deadline for entries is Monday, March 15, 2021. (Previous winners are not eligible.)

For more information email

 We the Young People: Teen Inauguration Special

Join PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (SRL), in partnership with WORLD Channel, on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 6 PM CT to hear from young people about what their hopes and expectations are for the new presidential administration.

The virtual special will feature host Amna Nawaz, senior national correspondent and primary substitute anchor for the PBS NewsHour. Special guests will include:

  • Yamiche Alcindor, PBS NewsHour, White House Correspondent
  • PBS NewsHour Gwen Ifill Legacy Fellows
  • Newly-elected young officials
  • Student reporters
  • Teen Fact Checkers from Poynter’s MediaWise program

The free, interactive event will also include discussions about the challenges facing Americans during the new year and solutions for finding reliable and accurate information online. Register here.

A live link will be emailed closer to the event date.

Teachersa worksheet is available here for use with your students throughout the event.

PBS LearningMedia Content Highlights

This year has been full of compromises especially when it comes to learning. This one's for you and there is no need to compromise. In this New Year, there is nothing you can’t overcome in your classrooms - look at all the things you accomplished in 2020! With these PBS KIDS and PBS LearningMedia resources ready at hand, this year is a new opportunity to engage with your students and inspire them with resources for the classroom, ideas for out-of-school activities, teaching tips, toolkits, and more. Check out here what's available for you!

Grades K-2A Look at Weather Factors -Students learn about four factors that describe different types of weather—temperature, wind, precipitation, and sunlight and clouds—as they explore various weather conditions and find evidence that describes each type of weather in this interactive lesson by WGBH. Interactive activities engage students as they observe and identify evidence of changing weather conditions and record factors evident in various types of weather. 

Grades 6-8Saving Crystal River -Explore the effects that an invasive species can have on the environment. In this interactive lesson, students learn how Lyngbya, a destructive form of algae, is creating environmental problems for the plants and wildlife in the Crystal River and Kings Bay areas of West Central Florida. They also examine methods being used to restore and maintain these important habitats. As a final assignment, students gather information from the lesson’s readings, activities, and video segments from WEDU Quest to complete a final writing assignment.

Grades 6-12: Vulnerability and Empathy: The Stories that Make Us | PBS American Portrait:  PBS American Portrait gives us the opportunity to share our own stories while also learning from and understanding others through their stories. In this series of activities, students will read articles, watch videos, write, reflect and discuss with classmates to better understand personal stories, vulnerability, and empathy. In response to an American Portrait prompt, students will plan and film their own selfie video, as well as create a biographical video that tells the story of another person’s response to an American Portrait prompt.

Register for a PBS LearningMedia Informational Webinar on our LPB Learning@Home website!  Sign up today and learn how easy it is to search for quality lessons and fun activities that families and children enjoy while learning!  If you do not have a PBS LearningMedia accountsign up now!

Discovery Education:  A Newsy New Year's Resolution for Your Students

* News In The New Year -Start 2021 with optimism and a fresh perspective—and help your students do the same! Our News and Current Events collection provides balanced, age-appropriate stories to help students better understand the news and world around us, reduce information overload, and stay informed on emerging stories from around the globe. Explore Now

* Read All About It -Teach students how to critically engage with current events by collecting evidence, identifying purpose, and summarizing main ideas and details. See the Strategy

* 9 Ready to Use Activities for your students -Help students interpret and understand news with this adaptable Studio Slideshow containing some of our most popular instructional activities. Get Started 

Your school/district must have a subscription for the current school year to access these resources.  For more information, contact Nancy Tooraen at LPB,  

KQED Youth Media Challenges

Empower students through media making and authentic audience.  Join a Youth Media Challenge to engage student voice and choice and foster civic engagement. Ideal for distance or in-person learning. Challenges are open to middle and high school students across the U.S.Challenge your students to get more civically engaged and media literate this year. These standards-aligned projects, for multiple content areas, come with ready-to-use curricular supports for self-directed learning. All student media submissions will be published on the online nationwide showcase. Read: How to participate in a challenge.

LDMA:  Spotlight on History

As we start a new year, the Louisiana Digital Media Archive (LDMA) is highlighting a few of our favorite documentaries produced during the 45-year history of LPB.  These programs are truly a sampling Louisiana’s history and culture and cover a wide variety of topics from music, literature, and sports to civil rights, military history, and disaster recovery.  If we’ve whetted your appetite for documentaries, be sure to check out our Program page for dozens of more options.

 January Programming Highlights

Finding Your Roots NEW SEASON - Tuesday, January 19 at 7:00PM
Join Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for a seventh season of uncovering the family histories of exciting new guests who are game-changers in their fields. They learn how their family histories illustrate the power and diversity of the human experience. Season 7 participants include Lewis Black, Gretchen Carlson, Glenn Close, Andy Cohen, Jim Gaffigan, Kasi Lemmons, John Lithgow, Tony Shalhoub and Pharrell Williams.

Agatha Christie’s England - Sunday, January 24 at 9:00PM   
Retrace the beloved author's footsteps to see the real places that inspired her literary universe. Learn how Christie drew on her surroundings throughout her life, immortalizing the people and locations she encountered in her extraordinary work.

Louisiana Public Square: Healthy New Year! - Wednesday, January 27 at 7:00PM       
January heralds the beginning of a New Year and for many, a resolution to practice a healthier lifestyle. According to the 13th annual State of Obesity report, Louisiana now has the highest rate of adult obesity in the country. So, what is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture? Which diet is the most effective for losing weight? What weight loss surgeries are available and how safe are they? And what role does exercise play in the health equation? Louisiana Public Square searches for answers on an encore presentation of “Healthy New Year!”