Here are many interesting facts about AETN that most people may not know:
Helping Educate Arkansans
AETN produces educational and instructional videos, interactive websites, lesson plans and streamed videos to address a variety of educational topics. AETN shares these valuable video resources on the outside of the ArkansasIDEAS portal whenever possible. This list of life-saving productions from AETN includes "108 Degrees: Critical Response", "Child Maltreatment-Mandated Reporter Training", "Leave Me Alone: Bullying", "Youth Suicide Prevention Awareness", "Hidden Wounds", and "Communicable Diseases". Other videos address instructional-based issues like "ALE-Alternative Education in Arkansas", "Dyslexia Awareness", and "Autism Awareness". Visitors to the site can also view important Arkansas history documentaries such as "Arkansas's First People", "Arkansas: A Six Region Journey", and "Governor's Mansion". Learn More
ArkansasIDEAS is a partnership between AETN and the Arkansas Department of Education. Launched in 2006, the AETN ArkansasIDEAS professional development portal is a statewide, high-quality, comprehensive online professional development learning management software (LMS). Since its inception, ArkansasIDEAS has delivered over 1 million hours of professional development. In 2015, ArkansasIDEAS launched a new LMS. The new LMS offers a fresh new design, new courses, and easier navigation and is mobile friendly. Learn More
Serving as a valuable resource for educators, AETN is always seeking opportunities to serve the state, especially its educators. In addition to the AETN ArkansasIDEAS portal, AETN provides many face-to-face professional development trainings, either at educational conferences or onsite at Arkansas schools. In addition, trainings taped at AETN are often streamed online for those who cannot attend in person. AETN also routinely hosts ADE-sponsored workshops and professional development sessions at its station in Conway. Learn More
AETN and PBS provide PBS LearningMedia - a media-rich website showcases the best classroom-ready, curriculum-targeted digital resources - to all Arkansas teachers. PBS LearningMedia builds on the strength of public media and is designed to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Resources are aligned to Common Core and national standards and include videos and interactives, as well as audio, documents, and in-depth lesson plans. This service is provided at no charge to all Arkansas educators by AETN, with more than 9,000 current users. Learn More
ArkansasIDEAS hosts a nationally recognized Common Core State Standards (CCSS) site that includes instructional videos, lesson plans, and facilitator training as well as assessment information about the CCSS. Recent additions to the assessment tab contain vital information from the Arkansas Department of Education regarding the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. Over 100,000 people have visited this site. Learn more
ArkansasIDEAS also hosts a microsite to help teachers and administrators with the Teacher Excellence and Support System (TESS). This site provides valuable training for educators as they learn the domains of the new teacher evaluation system. It houses video examples of each domain and scores those examples with the TESS rubric. The new LMS for online professional development also includes a search feature that administrators can use to prescribe ArkansasIDEAS courses to teachers who need support in a particular domain. Learn More
AETN and ArkansasIDEAS have a continuing social media presence and search for more ways to interact with their viewers/users. Updates about live courses, current events, and studio tapings are communicated via Facebook and Twitter. AETN StationBreak is an electronic newsletter written by the AETN Educational Division each month for teachers, school counselors, and parents. It contains timely information about AETN, PBS, and ArkansasIDEAS resources. Learn More
Through their combined efforts, AETN and ADE provide tuition assistance and enrollment support to Arkansas educators who wish to take PBS TeacherLine courses. These graduate level courses can be used as continuing education units (CTEs) or enhanced professional development training. PBS TeacherLine's facilitated and self-paced PD courses are designed to benefit both beginning and experienced teachers. Topics include science, reading, social studies, math, instructional strategies, and instructional technology. Learn More
The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) microsite is another site that the AETN ArkansasIDEAS portal hosts for Arkansas educators. This microsite contains videos of lesson examples from Arkansas classrooms in each of the seven STEM foundations. The site has been visited by more than 16,000 educators and continues to be an anchor for school districts trying to expand their STEM programs. Learn More
Along with the Arkansas Governor's Quiz Bowl Association, AETN provides a website and live broadcast of the Arkansas Governor's Academic Quiz Bowl competition. This event showcases Arkansas's outstanding academic scholars from school districts across the state. Final rounds of the event have been broadcast on AETN each year since 1985. Learn More
AETN's In Their Words continues to be a popular resource and website even though it was launched more than five years ago. In Their Words is an oral history archive with over 100 hours of testimony from Arkansas's World War II generation. It includes video, primary sources, artifacts, and personal testimonies from Arkansans who were involved in World War II. Learn More
Television That is Valued and Watched
AETN's mission is to serve viewers with life-long learning opportunities - not to serve advertisers and create profits for shareholders.
Unlike many commercial broadcasters, AETN makes full use of its total broadcast signal. In addition to its primary program service, AETN-1 that features the best of PBS and AETN-produced programs, AETN also provides other program services on its three (3) sub-channels. These are AETN-2, a 24-7 service that features CREATE with self-help and how-to programs for adults such as cooking, painting, sewing, crafts, home repair, gardening and travel. AETN PLUS, found on AETN-3, features additional educational children's programs during the daytime and WORLD at night with new and repeats of non-fiction programs for adults.
More than 320,000 households (or more than 460,000 viewers) watch AETN at least once a week. On average, about 11,000 homes are tuned to AETN during any evening quarter hour. Each day, more than 58,000 homes on average 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. AETN-1 is carried by all Arkansas cable companies and the two satellite providers. AETN-2 and AETN-3 are carried by many of the large cable companies in Arkansas, but not by either satellite provider. As a convenience, AETN videostreams many popular local and national public TV programs to viewers at aetn.org/programs to utilize other delivery methods.
While much of children's television embraces violence, coarse language and commercials, AETN continues to provide Arkansas with an education-focused, non-commercial and violence-free children's television service.
On its primary digital channel, AETN-1 provides more than 40 hours of programming per week for pre-school children helping to prepare them for school. The AETN-3 sub-channel provides an additional 52 hours of programming for pre-school and elementary-age children. In fact, AETN provides more non-commercial, trust-worthy, children's programming in one morning on either channel than commercial stations do in an entire week.
Top favorite programs on AETN include "Antiques Roadshow", "American Experience: Ken Burns Specials", "Doc Martin", "Nature", "The Lawrence Welk Show", "Masterpiece", British comedies, and AETN's "Exploring Arkansas", "Cooking on the Wild Side" and "Arkansas Week".
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 2015, PBS programs and promotions received 49 Daytime Emmy Award nominations and won 17 awards, including five for "Sesame Street", three for "The Mind of a Chef" and two for "Odd Squad". Also in 2015, PBS received eleven (11) Primetime Emmy Awards, including seven (7) for "Masterpiece: Sherlock", and two (2) for "American Masters". In addition, PBS received eleven (11) News & Documentary Emmy Awards, including four (4) for "Frontline" and three (3) for "Independent Lens". Furthermore, PBS tied with CBS as receiving the most Emmy Awards of any network.
In 2015, PBS received four (4) Peabody Awards (the world's oldest and most prestigious public service award for media) and one (1) Academy Award nomination for "American Experience: Last Days in Vietnam".
In 2015, PBS also received one (1) Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television this year when Dame Maggie Smith's was recognized for her portrayal of Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham on "Masterpiece: Downton Abbey". A Screen Actors Guild Award was received for the cast of "Masterpiece: Downton Abbey".
In 2015, PBS programs also garnered this year three (3) Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for for "Frontline: United States of Secrets and Syria's Second Front", as well as "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross". PBS also received one (1) George Polk Award in Journalism for Frontline "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis" and three (3) Television Critics Association Award nominations for Frontline, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and Sesame Street. These are just a few of the many awards that PBS programs receive each year.
In 2015, PBS received ten (10) Parents' Choice Awards with five (5) gold awards for Television for Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Odd Squad, Peg+Cat, and Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Giants, four (4) gold awards for Mobile Apps for Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings plus silver awards for Cookie Monster's Challenge and Peg + Cat Big Gig, and one (1) gold award for Websites for PBS Parents.
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-fifth 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, more than 16,400 contributors contribute about $2 million annually to AETN through the AETN Foundation. The AETN Foundation also receives more than $200,000 from businesses, state agencies and foundations to underwrite programs and projects.
Hundreds of individuals and businesses volunteer each year, providing several thousand 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 $3 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. Recent Nielsen data shows that PBS and its member stations like AETN are America's most trusted institution and an excellent use of tax dollars for the 12th consecutive year.
Annual federal funding for all of public broadcasting (radio and TV) amounts to about .0001% of the federal budget- or, in other words, $1.35 per American per year. Since the Federal government spends about $7 million every minute each year, elimination of federal funding to public broadcasting would have virtually no real impact on the federal deficit. Specifically, AETN receives less than ten seconds of the entire annual Federal budget for part of its annual funding. However, federal funding is crucial for all public broadcasting stations like AETN because that money serves as an incentive match to what is raised locally, helping local stations be more productive in raising local support. From the State of Arkansas annual budget, AETN receives about 0.05% of the total state's budget - or, in other words, about $3.80 per person annually - or what the state spends in about one 30-minute period in a year. But, State funding provides for infrastructure - personnel, equipment, utility costs, etc. - that allows AETN to literally operate and broadcast.
Providing Special Services to Help Arkansans
AETN is Arkansas's 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.
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 - AETN-4 - for the Arkansas Information Reading Services for the Blind, which provides the reading of local and national newspaper, magazines, information and books for the blind and visually impaired of Arkansas, a service from the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Services for the Blind.
AETN serves as part of the technical infrastructure for the state's emergency broadcast system.
AETN's Viewer Services responds to almost 2,000 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 120 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.
AETN seeks and secures national and foreign markets for AETN programs, successfully enhancing Arkansas's image outside its borders. Several AETN productions have been in the past or are currently being televised outside the state through PBS distribution. Several years ago, AETN's "Arkansas Outdoors" was seen throughout the world via cable syndication.
AETN annually wins local, national and/or international awards and nominations for its productions with nearly 450 in the past forty-five (45) years. The coveted regional EMMY award has been received for sixteen (16) AETN productions with the most recent production, Champion Trees, receiving two (2) awards. To date, AETN productions have received a total of forty-six (46) regional EMMY nominations for twenty-three (23) 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.
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 more than 16,400 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.
AETN offers multiple outreach components for many public affairs and documentary programs including such things as 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.
Annually, AETN shares the AETN story by providing AETN speakers to 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 (aetn.org) has many webpages 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.
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.
Since 1966, AETN has received more than $12.6 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: 05/28/2015