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FACTS About AETN

Here are many interesting facts about AETN that most people may not know:

Helping Educate Arkansans

AETN provides an extensive library of streamed video for inclusion in lesson plans, classroom presentations and student projects.  There are about 7,000 video clips, 1,000 full-length instructional programs along with lesson plans, teachers' guides and black-line masters correlated to state education standards.  These video selections are available at no charge to Arkansas educators.

AETN produces educational and instructional videos, interactive websites, lesson plans and streamed videos to address a variety of topics such as child abuse prevention (A Walk Upstream) and bullying (Leave Me Alone!).  The response has been especially positive with school counselors, parents and students.

AETN uses advanced technologies to produce virtual tours available online that allow educators and students to "visit" historic sites in Arkansas, such as the Governor's Mansion, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, via the Internet.

AETN and the Arkansas Governor's Quiz Bowl Association coordinate efforts to share the accomplishments and abilities of Arkansas's outstanding scholars.  These efforts include the website and live broadcast of the final rounds of competition of the annual Arkansas Governor's Academic Quiz Bowl Competition.  AETN has broadcast this academic competition every year since 1985.

AETN has produced a multi-media professional development project called Arkansas: A Six Region Journey, showcasing Arkansas's geographic regions.  The project provides lesson plans, PowerPoint classroom presentations, video and other resources.

ArkanasIDEAS, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education, has created an Internet portal that is the only statewide, high-quality, comprehensive online professional development portal in the nation.  Its quality content and extraordinary collection of courses is available anytime to Arkansas licensed educators at no cost.

ArkansasIDEAS is the leading provider of professional educator development related to the Arkansas Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative.  AETN's Common Core micro-site is the premiere resource for related material, supporting documents, and downloadable videos and can be found at http://ideas.aetn.org/commoncore.  More than 13,000 unique users visited this site in the first six months of 2012.

AETN and PBS provide Arkansas educators with access to PBSLearningMedia, a next-generation digital media platform for PreK to college to help re-imagine classroom learning, transform teaching, and more creatively engage students. This repository of digital media includes videos, images, interactive activities, audio and research documents.

Thanks to a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AETN is producing short videos of teachers from rural, low-income schools in Arkansas sharing their ideas and adding their voices to the national education conversation. These videos will be featured on "The Teacher Wall" and support the American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen initiative with more than 3,000 educator videos from around the nation.

AETN is also building on its longstanding commitment to education by working with American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen by convening conversations and strengthening partnerships between public radio and television stations and local schools, businesses, and community organization " all with the goal of helping students stay on course to graduate from high school.

ArkansasIDEAS is constantly changing to meet the needs of today's educators.  In 2012, an in-depth, online professional development catalog was updated to allow educators to easily search for the right courses for their professional growth. 

AETN's Education Division continues the tradition of the Arkansas Technology Institute with ATI Online, an ArkansasIDEAS series of courses that reflect some of the elements of the face-to-face workshop and help teach teachers how to better use technology to enhance classroom education.

The ArkansasIDEAS portal provides access to PBS TeacherLine.   These online professional educator development courses for PreK-12 teachers are designed to allow educators to expand instructional skills, explore and master new content and grow teaching confidence and creativity.  Educators can earn both graduate credit and professional development hours in a flexible and affordable way.

ArkansasIDEAS is utilizing the newest production technology to offer more expansive avenues for Arkansas educators to acquire Professional Educator Development.  AETN can now disseminate information on multiple delivery platforms such as:  live Compressed Interactive Video (CIV) productions, taped "face-to-face" in-studio events, live interactive online streaming (which can be viewed on all Windows and IOS devices like iPhone and iPad).  Hundreds of hours of CIV productions have been created in 2012 and 2013 to help teachers all around the state of Arkansas, especially those located in isolated, rural areas with limited access.

AETN's electronic newsletter and coordinated website for educators, StationBreak, is written for teachers, school counselors as well as parents of young children to inform them about valuable individual and classroom resources from AETN, PBS, and other community organizations.  StationBreak can be found online at www.aetn.org/education/stationbreak.

AETN was one of only five public television networks nationally selected to develop major projects in 2009 to coordinate with the American Experience series We Shall Remain telling the story of Native American peoples in this country.  AETN produced extensive multi-media and professional educator development resources for Arkansas's First People project along with a general audience TV program.

AETN's In Their Words multi-media oral history project remains a vital conduit for Arkansas's World War II veterans to share their stories of the war.  More than 580 oral histories have been recorded and are to be archived for future study with 111 interactive histories currently available online to the general public at www.intheirwords.org.  This extensive Web site allows visitors to explore many of these experiences online.  The project also created an Educator Professional Development component to help teachers with the teaching of this part of history.

AETN has been a partner with four southern state public television networks (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi) in cooperative efforts to efficiently provide programs and services, increase revenues and decrease expenses.  One past project created a training series entitled Going to School to help parents and childcare providers know how to best prepare and nurture a child in their first years of school.

Television That is Valued and Watched

More than 320,000 households (or more than 460,000 viewers) watch AETN at least once a week.  On average, about 10,000 homes are tuned to AETN during any evening quarter hour.  Each day, more than 55,000 homes are tuned to AETN.  Nearly one-half of all Arkansas television viewers turn to AETN first for programs that help people learn.

Viewers are about evenly split between men and women during evening hours.  During daytime and weekend hours, nearly one-fourth of viewers are children under age 12 while women account for about forty percent of viewers and men account for about one-third of viewers.

AETN is a commercial-free television service that is free over-the-air to nearly every Arkansas household, regardless of income.

While much of children's television embraces violence, coarse language and commercials, AETN continues to provide Arkansas with an education-driven, non-commercial and violence-free children's television service.

On its primary digital channel, AETN provides more than 40 hours of programming per week for pre-school children helping to prepare them for school.  AETN provides more non-commercial, trust-worthy, children's programming in one morning than commercial stations do in an entire week.  Additionally, AETN on its second sub-channel (AETN PLUS) broadcasts more than 100 hours of programming each week for school-age children, providing additional instruction for teachers in key subject areas like geography, science and social studies " something rarely found on commercial television.

AETN's mission is to serve viewers with life-long learning opportunities - not to serve advertisers and create profits for shareholders.

AETN is proud to be affiliated with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), which is consistently recognized as a leader in high quality television programming.  In 2012, PBS received nine (9) daytime EMMY awards, including seven (7) for Sesame Street.  PBS received two (2) Peabody Awards (the world's oldest and most prestigious public service award for media).  PBS also received one (1) Golden globe Award as well as dozens of other national and international awards for outstanding television productions.

On repeated surveys, eight out of ten television viewers say that they know that AETN is using telecommunications to provide life-long learning opportunities for all Arkansans. Three out of four television viewers believe that AETN is a leading source in Arkansas of high-quality education, information and entertainment programming and provides more education and information benefits than most other television.

Community Supported Television

About one-fourth of the AETN budget is funded by private sources through efforts of the AETN Foundation.  This money is used to help acquire, produce and broadcast general audience programs to Arkansans.

Currently to supplement state and federal funding, about 16,000 contributors contribute more than $1.9 million annually to AETN through the AETN Foundation.  The AETN Foundation also receives more than $234,000 from businesses, state agencies and foundations to underwrite programs and projects.  Almost $200,000 in in-kind donations is received each year.

Hundreds of individuals and businesses volunteer each year, providing more than 3,000 hours of service to AETN.

The AETN Membership Hot Line provides personal service to more than 2,000 contributors each year.

The AETN Foundation Endowment annually generates income that is used to help pay for programming on AETN.  More than $2 million has been donated to date to the AETN Foundation Endowment (including the Jane Krutz Volunteer Program Endowment) through bequests, memorial or restricted gifts.

Opinion surveys consistently show that Americans value public television as a unique educational and cultural resource that generates a high return on their tax dollars.

Of the 2012 U.S. Federal budget, the Federal government spends about $7 million every minute each year.  Public Broadcasting (radio and TV combined) in the entire USA receives about one (1) hour per year of the entire Federal budget for funding.  AETN receives less than ten seconds of the entire annual Federal budget for part of its funding.  From the State of Arkansas annual budget, AETN receives about $1.85 per person per year for funding.

Providing Special Services to Help Arkansans

AETN is Arkansas' only statewide television network, with six (6) digital transmitter sites and thirteen (13) microwave sites, bringing the AETN broadcast signal to more than 95% of the state and parts of surrounding states.

AETN's three studios help produce and transmit teleconferences, training and electronic town meetings to address the needs of Arkansans in a cost-effective manner.  In the past, AETN has provided interactive distance learning for many state agencies and organizations, including the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, Head Start, Arkansas Department of Human Services, and the Arkansas Secretary of State.  Currently, AETN in partnership with ADE is providing dozens of specialized educator training to teachers throughout the state via the use of Compressed Interactive Video.

AETN provides descriptive video (DVI) for visually impaired Arkansans and closed captioning (CC) for hearing impaired Arkansans.  AETN also provides, at no charge, a separate audio channel on its third broadcast sub-channel for the Arkansas Information Reading Services for the Blind, which provides the reading of local and national news and information for the blind and visually impaired of Arkansas.

AETN provides free technical consultation services for Arkansas schools.  AETN also serves as the technical infrastructure for the state's emergency broadcast system.

AETN's Viewer Services responds to more than 2,500 phone calls letters, cards and e-mails from the AETN viewers annually, providing personalized program-related information to AETN viewers. 

Productions About Arkansas for Arkansans

Each year, AETN produces on average about 100 hours of original full-length programming featuring the people and places of Arkansas, as well as issues of local, national and international importance to the state.  AETN receives hundreds of telephone questions and comments during each live call-in program.  Top favorite and most-watched programs on AETN include Antiques Roadshow, American Experience, British comedies, Nature, Arkansas Week, The Lawrence Welk Show, Masterpiece, and AETN's Exploring Arkansas.

AETN seeks and secures national and foreign markets for AETN programs, successfully enhancing Arkansas' image outside its borders.  Several AETN productions have been in the past or are currently being televised outside the state through PBS distribution.  A few years ago, AETN's Arkansas Outdoors was seen throughout the world via cable syndication.

AETN offers multiple outreach components for many public affairs program including: viewer access to elected officials, public opinion makers, community leaders and other experts; free information packets; hot line telephone numbers; teacher guides; online web site information and other resources.

AETN annually wins local, national and/or international awards for its productions " more than 430 in the past forty years.  The coveted EMMY award has been received for fourteen (14) AETN productions with the most recent production Clean Lines, Open Spaces receiving three (3) awards.  To date, AETN productions have received a total of forty (40) EMMY nominations for twenty-one (21) separate productions.  AETN's audio CD production of the Trout Fishing in America episode of AETN Presents: On the Front Row series was nominated for a Grammy in 2008.

AETN regularly partners with many freelance and independent producers, writers and musicians as well as state agencies, universities and other non-profits to further enhance the AETN library of programs about Arkansas and disperse program information statewide.

As a convenience to viewers, AETN videostreams many popular local and national public TV programs to viewers at www.aetn.org/programs to further utilize new technologies.

Communicating the AETN Story

The AETN Magazine provides program schedule information and highlights, network news, upcoming events, volunteer information, Foundation news, technical updates, outreach, education and production news " is mailed to about 16,000 AETN Foundation contributors each month.

AETN keeps Arkansans informed by providing program promotion and press releases to more than 100 media outlets statewide.  AETN mails thousands of program related outreach packages to schools and viewers.  AETN tells its story nationwide through regional and national publications.

Annually, AETN shares the AETN story by providing AETN speakers to dozens of civic organizations throughout the state as well as conducting tours of its network headquarters for all interested groups of ten (10) or more that are 4th grade (or age 10) and older during regular, weekday business hours.

AETN web site (www.aetn.org) has hundreds of pages of information about AETN programs and services and includes links to PBS; individual program web sites; state, regional and national educational resources; and program underwriter home pages.  On average, there are more than 12,500 visits with almost 30,000 pages viewed on AETN's web site each month.

Trustworthy and Efficient Use of Resources

Annual audits by independent professionals of AETN and the AETN Foundation financial records reflect high quality business practices, which safeguard all resources available to AETN.

More than half (55%) of AETN's nearly $12 million annual operating budget comes from state tax dollars provided by the state legislature and the Arkansas Department of Education for infrastructure, personnel, basic operating costs and to fund AETN's popular ArkansasIDEAS that provides free professional development training accessible for certified teachers statewide.  About one-fifth (19%) of AETN's annual budget comes from federal tax dollars (used to help fund local productions) as a partial match to locally obtained funds, which accounts for about one-fourth (26%) of AETN's annual budget and is used to pay for programs viewers enjoy on AETN.

Since 1966, AETN has received about $12.5 million in restricted grants from the federal government for new and replacement capitol equipment.  These funds have been matched by nearly $31 million in state and private dollars to help acquire, replace and maintain AETN's broadcast and production equipment.  Former Senator Dale Bumpers called AETN and Public Television the "best example of the public-private partnership".

AETN employee and applicant statistics are representative of the cultural and racial diversity of the state, helping AETN to better serve Arkansas needs.

AETN was honored as one of the best places to work in Arkansas in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2010 by the Arkansas Psychological Association. In 2008 AETN was named one of the five most psychologically healthy workplaces in the United States and also honored for its team practices by the American Psychological Association.  AETN won the 2008, 2009, and 2011 Governor's Work-Life Balance Gold Award and the 2010 Silver Award as one of the best medium-sized business in Arkansas for its practices of helping employees to balance the needs of both work and family.  In 2012, AETN was placed in the Governor's Work-Life Balance Award "Hall of Fame". AETN also won the Governor's Mature Workers Award in 2009, 2010, and 2011 for its practices friendly to mature workers.

Updated as of:  10/10/2013