NORTH CAROLINA, USA — North Carolina Department of Public Instruction leaders said it’s tough to get an exact number, but they estimate that more than 200,000 students are without broadband access.
So far, North Carolina's Governor Roy Cooper closed schools throughout the state through May 15. So, UNC-TV and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction are working together to make sure grade-school students don't have a lapse in learning during that time.
UNC-TV is airing content for fourth through 12th-grade students, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. With a simple TV monitor and an antenna, students can watch the educational programming for free.
“We were absolutely excited to rise to the occasion,” said UNC-TV Director of Children’s Media and Education Services Joy Potts.
North Carolina used educational content that came from other states as a foundation for their own programming and tailored the programming based on the state curriculum.
Angie Mullennix is the Director of Innovation Strategy for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She said, “It turned out to be something that really was an equity bridge builder.”
This teamwork's all about education and making families feel like they are all still are connected.
"[UNC-TV] really pulled through and brought in some excellent lessons with us and so I think as a parent, I just I am so overwhelmed with joy,” said Mullennix.
To help students reconnect with teachers, UNC-TV will begin featuring many of the “Teacher of the Year” recipients in the broadcast.
It’s an emotional element to help mitigate loneliness said Potts, "Which is why, again, we want to try to get some of those familiar teacher faces on the air,” she said.