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IdahoPTV supports the entire learning ecosystem, serving Idaho parents, caregivers and formal and informal educatorswhether in public, private, or homeschool settingsand working with community organizations focused on children's education. Read about how IdahoPTV’s family and community education projects are bringing Idahoans together and changing lives in neighborhoods around our state. 

IdahoPTV In Your Neighborhood

IdahoPTV knows a child’s first, and most important teacher is you, the parent.

Family of three with father, child and mother smiling

Jacque B.

“I am blown away by the resources provided in the PBS LearningMedia website. I instantly contacted my teacher friends and told them they must use this!”

As a former teacher and principal, Jacque has a great deal of experience finding and creating educational materials for her students. When she decided to home school her youngest child, she was well equipped for the new role.

Family standing next to a tree

Melissa Simmons

This second-grade teacher at Dworshak Elementary School in Burley, Idaho, has found the next generation of teaching tools for her students and for the teachers in her district.

Born and raised in Idaho, Melissa Simmons has been teaching elementary school students for 29 years. And when you meet Simmons, you see that despite nearly three decades in the classroom, she hasn’t lost one bit of enthusiasm, passion, and energy for teaching Idaho’s children.

Woman smiling

Cara Marchbanks

A community schools resource coordinator for Notus School District in Notus, Idaho, Cara Marchbanks says that she sees firsthand how access to early childhood education helps students succeed. 

Cara Marchbanks is an energetic community schools resource coordinator for the Notus School District in Notus, Idaho. With a population of less than 600, it’s the smallest town in Canyon County.

Family of four standing in a windy area outdoors, mother, father and two children all smiling

Kristin H.

A homeschool parent in Eagle, Idaho, who uses PBS KIDS shows, apps, and games with her two girls, ages 9 and 13.

Kristin H. started homeschooling in Eagle, Idaho, when her eldest was 5 years old. At first, homeschooling was about personal choice; then it was out of necessity.

Family standing next to a tree

Lacey Watkins

An interventionist teacher and former classroom educator in Moscow, Idaho, shares tools she uses to introduce new topics with students and reinforce skills. 

Lacey Watkins’ enthusiasm is contagious.

The mother of two girls has taught preschool, kindergarten, and first grade; she now works as an interventionist teacher for grades K-5 at Lena Whitmore Elementary School in Moscow, Idaho.

Woman smiling

Whitney Lankford

A preschool engagement coordinator in American Falls, Idaho, Whitney Lankford says she appreciates the in-person presence that Idaho Public Television’s Education team has had in her community, saying it “has really made a big difference.”

According to Whitney Lankford, a parent and preschool engagement coordinator in American Falls, Idaho, her community is one that enthusiastically embraces and supports early childhood education. 

Child drawing while sticking his tongue out and concentrating

Kim B.

STEM materials are especially important to this homeschool parent in Nampa, Idaho, who appreciates PBS KIDS for offering “guilt-free screen time” to her kids ages 7, 5, and 3.

Kim B.  is no stranger to the COVID pivot.

Her eldest was ready to start kindergarten, but when the pandemic struck, she chose to homeschool him. And she also chose to do preschool at home for her 5-year-old.

Children raising their hands in class

Melissa Reed

This Weiser, Idaho, teacher benefits from Idaho Public Television’s expertise in online learning and in the classroom. 

Melissa Reed just started her 22nd year teaching Idaho youth. And on this August afternoon, she’s staying late in her classroom, waiting to visit with parents at Weiser School’s Back to School Night.

Woman reading to a group of children

Gina Miller

This Rexburg Librarian knows when a program works and benefits the whole community. IdahoPTV changed storytime in this small town. 

A native of Rexburg, Idaho, Gina Miller is now raising her own kids in the city of 28,000 northeast of Idaho Falls. 

And in her work as a librarian, Miller has invited Idaho Public Television’s community educators to the library for years.  

A small boy with blonde hair is raising his arms to put on a hat from 'Cat in the Hat'

Tenille Call

For busy working mom and parent of 3 Tenille, new community is built around learning programs in American Falls through Idaho Public Television’s Family and Community Workshops. 

Call is a member of the Early Learning Collaborative in American Falls, Idaho, and is grateful for the partnership with Idaho Public Television, which sits on the group’s collaborative board to brainstorm ideas, offer support for community events, and provides ideas and resources for hands-on learning with families.

Headshot of Paige Somoza

Paige Somoza

This PBS Digital Innovator, teacher and instructional coach makes it clear: “sit and get learning” is a thing of the past. Idaho Public Television puts learning in the hands of the students while teaching them twenty-first-century skills.

Paige Somoza has just finished her summer canning: strawberry and rhubarb pie filling. She loves a good project.

Paige takes lessons from Idaho Public Television and PBS and brings them into her job as a teacher and instructional coach.

Woman reading to a group of children

Laurie Willmore

Librarian from Menan, Idaho, with 19 years of library experience. She sees IdahoPTV as a necessary resource in her community. 

“I know these programs work because I see it,” says Menan, Idaho, librarian Laurie Willmore.

Idaho Public Television’s Storytime in a Box program has been very successful at her library. “We have had great feedback from patrons,” says Willmore.

Do you have your own IdahoPTV education story to share? 
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