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Parent's Blog

AETN Battle of the Pumpkins - And the Winner Is …
It’s Halloween, and you know what that means. Costumes, delicious treats, wonderfully spooky programming on AETN and … the day the winner is declared in the AETN Battle of the Pumpkins! With all of the spooktacular entries and your dedicated voting, which pumpkin and AETN Department will take home the bragging rights? Read more

“Ghosts, Blood and Zombies - A Student Selects Halloween”
Arkansas’s young filmmakers will be showing off their spooky sides in the first ever edition of “Ghosts, Blood and Zombies — A Student Selects Halloween” on Friday, Oct. 31, at 6:30 and 10 p.m. Start with the a milder first batch of films in our prime time showcase of family-friendly entries, then let horror fans stay up for the hour-long feature of terror-inducing submissions at 10 p.m. Read more

Guest Blogger Jack Smith — An Inside Look at the Student Selects HSDFF Workshop
This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and work with young, emerging filmmakers from right here in Arkansas as a part of my ongoing internship through Hendrix College at AETN. The entire weekend was a wonderful experience and one that I highly recommend to any and all who might find themselves interested in the world of film or who just have a taste for the documentary style. Read more

Cast Your Vote … in the AETN Battle of the Pumpkins!
The AETN Battle of the Pumpkins ends Friday, Oct. 31 at 10:30 a.m. AETN Departments are still vying for your vote for their creative AETN and PBS-themed pumpkins. Help them win honor, glory and bragging rights by choosing your favorite at aetn.org/contest. Read more

AETN Battle of the Pumpkins: PBS KIDS Halloween Specials
Get in the spooky spirit of Halloween with all sorts of fun PBS KIDS fall and holiday specials during the week of Oct. 27! See the special schedule — featuring “Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest,” new Halloween-themed episodes of “Curious George” and “Dinosaur Train,” and much more — after the jump. Read more

Student Selects - Spring Creek Orval Thomas Moviemakers Symposium
Young filmmakers in Northwest Arkansas and from across the state are encouraged to join the “AETN Student Selects: Opportunities for Young Filmmakers” workshop at the Spring Creek Festival Orval Thomas Moviemakers Symposium on Friday, Oct. 24, in Springdale’s Jones Center for Families. Read more

AETN Battle of the Pumpkins - DIY PBS KIDS Costume Ideas
Are you and your ghouls and goblins dreaming up ideas for Halloween costumes? Take some inspiration from this round up of great PBS KIDS DIY Costume ideas - like Sid the Science KIDS, Daniel Tiger, Arthur Read, Thomas the Tank Engine, Word Girl, Buddy the Dinosaur and more! Read more

AETN Battle of the Pumpkins - Finished Products
You saw the challenge, now check out the AETN departments’ answers! We’re seeing an entirely new side of everyone’s creativity here at the station with some truly outstanding pumpkins. From classic PBS to favorite new dramas to AETN originals (classic and brand-new for Halloween) read on to see all of the amazing entries and find the link to vote for your favorite. Read more

AETN Battle of the Pumpkins - Halloween Crafts
While the pumpkin battle rages here, what specter-tacular crafts are you doing at home? We have some great Halloween craft ideas for kids big and small — from creating your own Monster Slime to treat holders and more! Read more

AETN Battle of the Pumpkins - You Pick the Winner
AETN’s departments are getting ready for Halloween with an exciting new contest, but to choose the winner, we’ll need your help! Keep reading for the rules, to see who’s competing and to learn how you can cast your vote! Read more

AETN KIDS Club - Halloween Recipe Round-Up
Looking for some eerie inspiration for your little ghouls and goblins or for your big Halloween bash? Find fun ideas, from Mummy Dogs to Monster Cupcakes, in this great round-up! Read more

AETN KIDS Club — Spooktacular Reads for Halloween
It’s already October, and crunchy leaves, crisp breezes, pumpkins and Halloween are on their way! Find some library trip inspiration for kids of all ages — from babies and toddlers to upper elementary (and maybe even grown-ups) — in this book list from AETN Kids. Read more

Free Giovanni Antipolo Concert Oct. 2
Little Rock native “Gio” Antipolo is bringing classical piano to “AETN Presents: On the Front Row” with a free concert in our studios on Thursday, Oct. 2. Meet us in the AETN lobby by 6:30 p.m. to reserve your free seat for extraordinary excerpts from Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3” and Debussy’s “Claire de Lune.” Read more

“Student Selects 2014” premieres Sept. 25
See and celebrate the work of Arkansas’s next generation of filmmakers in “Student Selects : A Young Filmmakers Showcase 2014” starting Thursday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m.! This annual event highlights K-12 students’ creativity and talent, as well as the work of our 2014 THEA Foundation scholarship winners in screenwriting, directing, cinematography and editing. Read more

AETN KIDS Club Booklist: Animals + Reading = Fun
How can you make reading even more fun for kids? If you already know that they love their furry, feathered or even scaly friends, we have some great ideas! Get to know Arkansas author David M. Sargent Jr. — who writes children’s books about his pets; learn how reading to pets can build reading confidence; and check out our booklist filled with stories about animal pals of all shapes and sizes. Read more

"Sesame Street" Season 45
This fall, we and “Sesame Street” are introducing new episodes, a bonus half-hour program in the afternoon (available on-air and online), and celebrating the iconic series’ 45th year of helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. Another bonus? Lots of fun celebrity appearances and spoofs grown-ups will enjoy, too! Read more

Plum Landing Arrives at Conway EcoFest
Plum to earth - she’s coming in for a landing! On Saturday, Sept. 13, we’re bringing all the fun of one of our latest online PBS KIDS programs, “Plum Landing” to EcoFest! Join us for an exciting day, filled with all sorts of fun activities, at Laurel Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Read more

Free Copies of “108˚: Critical Response” Available to Public Libraries
As the temperature rises and fall activities go into full swing, it's more important than ever to educate ourselves and our kids about the prevention, signs and dangers of exertional heat illness. To help, learn how your local public library can request a free copy of AETN and ArkansasIDEAS’ original documentary “108˚: Critical Response.”  Read more

New AETN KIDS Fall Schedule
We've already kicked off a new school year, and soon it will be time to start our new Fall 2014 AETN KIDS Schedule! To benefit our younger viewers, beginning Sept. 1, we’re adjusting our daytime AETN PBS KIDS schedule and introducing new shows. Keep reading to get the inside scoop. Read more

Resources for Depression
Sure, everyone feels sad or down sometimes. But, if you or someone you love is sad most of the time — or alternates between being really up and manic and feeling very down and depressed — and it’s creating problems at school or work, relationships are suffering, or substances or behaviors are being used to control the problems, it might be depression. The good news? It’s a real medical illness, and it’s treatable. Read more

Shop Amazon, Earn Donations for AETN!
You’re already supporting AETN in all sorts of ways (starting with reading this blog!), but what if you could support your local PBS station financially without doing anything beyond your normal online shopping? With AmazonSmile - you can! Simply follow our link to sign up for the AmazonSmile program, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the AETN Foundation. Read more

AETN KIDS Club August Book List
Explore the world around you and brand new worlds with books from this AETN KIDS Club nature-themed book list! Plus, learn how you can get a book list every month — as well as activities, tips and news about upcoming PBS KIDS programs — in the AETN KIDS Newsletter. Read more

Congratulations, Mabel Wise, national PBS KIDS Writers Contest finalist!
We’re thrilled to announce that Mabel Wise, AETN KIDS Writers Contest third grade winner, has been chosen as a national finalist in the PBS KIDS Writers Contest. Mabel, who attends Eastside Elementary School in Rogers, Arkansas, competed against other state winners from across the country. Her story, “Cloudy and the Busy Street,” was judged on originality, creative expression, storytelling and integration of text and illustrations. Read more

Big News for PBS KIDS Fall 2014
From exciting new episodes and movies to brand new shows, big things are coming to AETN KIDS this fall. Keep reading to get the scoop on what you have to look forward to — including a new “Dinosaur Train” special, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Season 2,” and Fred Rogers Co. new show “Odd Squad” (from the creator of “Adventure Time”). Read more

Guest Blogger Rhonda Fincher on "108˚: Critical Response"
When my son Kendrick died from heat stroke in 1995, there was very little information on heat illness prevention and few people were discussing how to prevent it. Over the years, I have found some great folks who are promoting heat illness prevention within their scope of influence. Some of them are featured on the AETN and ArkansasIDEAS original documentary "108˚: Critical Response that will be released on July 21. These are our stories. Read more

John Wesley Huddleston - The Man Behind “Diamond John”
Travis Mosler’s independent film “Diamond John” — currently ranked in the top three of the PBS Online Film Festival — has inspired us to laugh … and learn! Want to get to know the Arkansas man whose life inspired this period comedy? Keep reading to get the scoop on John Wesley Huddleston, the real “Diamond John,” and on how Mosler created the short film to encourage state pride. Read more

Get the Facts about Heat Illness - '108° : Critical Response'
We all know it’s getting hot outside — just in time for sports camps, two-a-day practices and more. But do you know just how serious heat illness can be for young people in Arkansas? We’re experiencing more 100˚ and higher days in the summer and that makes serious injury, and even death, from exertional heat illness a threat. The good news? It’s completely preventable. Get the facts and learn about our upcoming original documentary “108˚: Critical Response” — premiering July 21 at 7 p.m. — after the jump. Read more

“Cyberchase” Community Event in downtown Little Rock - July 19
Along with our partners at the Museum of Discovery and the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, AETN is excited to host the Cyberchase Community Event in Little Rock’s Rivermarket District on Saturday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Learn how you can meet Digit from “Cyberchase” and much more after the jump. Read more

In Review: “Freedom Summer” Screening and Online Resources
On Saturday, June 21, we had a wonderful time with the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity, our panelists and guests at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Juneteenth celebration. In addition to all of the fun at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center street festival, we were privileged to show a special preview screening of “American Experience: Freedom Summer” and air the full-length version on June 24. In case you missed it, catch up with us — and learn how you can access the film and online resources — after the jump. Read more

AETN Youth Academy - Production Camp
We had a great time with our new friends from the AETN Youth Academy Production Camp last week! From learning the basics of the filmmaking process, to learning how to run equipment to shooting interviews, it was huge fun to get to know these budding filmmakers and watch them work together to create their outstanding short films. Read more

Free AETN Summer Learning Packets
Calling all Arkansas daycare groups, summer camps and more! We want to help you as you keep our state’s kiddos brains busy over the break by sharing free summer learning materials. Read on to learn what we’re making available and how to request your packets. Read more

Start exploring with Camp PBS Parents
Stop the summer slide and banish the "I'm bored" from your kids' vocabulary with cool crafts and hands-on-learning activities to educate and entertain your kids all summer long with Camp PBS Parents! Read more

“Freedom Summer” Screening at Little Rock Juneteenth Celebration
Join us, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity for a free preview screening of “American Experience: Freedom Summer” as part of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 21, at 1 p.m. We share the details about the film and discussion panel after the jump! Read more

Learn all summer long with AETN and PBS KIDS!
School may be out for summer, but learning never ends! We’re here to help bridge the summer learning gap with free PBS KIDS resources - on air and online. On top of our new summer daytime kids’ schedule that kicked off on June 2, we’re getting ready to share all sorts of fun digital and community resources available. Read more

AETN Youth Academy - Around the World Camp
Do you know kids ages 7-11 who would like to make a trip around the world? They can do it in a week with the AETN Youth Academy Around the World Camp! Scheduled July 21-25, this summer learning experience will give campers the opportunity to travel the world by exploring various cultures through a blend of technology learning, hands-on activities, special guests, fun and educational activities and much more. Read more

Student Selects LRFF Youth! Workshop Recap
This year, and every year we’ve been lucky enough to host, AETN had the incredible opportunity to meet the state’s up and coming filmmakers at the Little Rock Film Festival for workshops that up their skill levels and keep us fresh! Find a recap of the 2014 event after the jump. Read more

AETN KIDS Club - Explore the Outdoors Booklist
Explore the outdoors on your own and in great books with this AETN KIDS Club feature! We’ll meet Kim Guthrie Jones — an author and former Arkansas resident, teacher and park ranger - and learn about her book “The Case of the Missing Mountain” as well as other great outdoors reading picks. Read more

Super Vision App Connects Super Parents & Kids Online
It’s a bird … it’s a plane … it’s Super Vision! PBS KIDS has launched a new, free app that gives parents the “super power” to engage and monitor our kids online like never before. See how this first-of-its-kind tool allows convenient access to see what kids are watching, playing and learning on pbskids.org anytime, anywhere. Read more

2014 Student Selects Scholarship Winners
After reviewing many wonderful entries, AETN and the Thea Foundation have chosen the 2014 Student Selects film scholarship winners! The winning students will screen their films at the Little Rock Film Festival Thursday, May 15, and each student will receive $2,500 in tuition toward the college of their choice. Read on to learn who the winners are and find details about how you can see their films. Read more

New PBS KIDS “Double Your Fun” Summer Lineup
Starting Monday, June 2, AETN and PBS are introducing a new summer kids’ line-up! Why the change? During the summer, national data shows that we have more kids ages 4-8 watching with us, and we all want to make sure we’re! Keep reading with us to see what you can expect. Read more

2014 Quiz Bowl Champions
On Saturday, April 26, we were privileged to host the 2014 Arkansas Governor’s Quiz Bowl Association state championship. This year’s participants were great fun — they made us laugh, they made us gasp … and they may or may not have made us feel like we should hit the books! Find out who won and see pictures of the teams after the jump. Read more

Put on your Mister Rogers Sweater for Public Media
We believe that Fred Rogers has always embodied the very best of public television, but did you know that he also saved it? In addition to being a snappy dresser, an adult who truly respected children and a reassuring voice in an often tumultuous world, Mister Rogers testified before the U.S. Senate on May 1, 1969, to protect and restore funding to public media. Join us after the jump to learn more about the historical event and how you can celebrate Fred Rogers’ lifelong dedication to public media in our “Sweater Selfies” social media event! Read more

Arkansas Tornado Emergency - Helping Kids Cope With the Disaster
Along with the rest of the state and viewers across the region, we’ve been devastated to see friends and family members suffer in the wake of Sunday’s tornadic disaster. In the aftermath of this severe weather event, how do we help our children process what they’re seeing or experiencing? We share important resources from Sesame Street, PBS Parents and the Fred Rogers Company after the jump. Read more

AETN PBS Writers Contest 2014 Winners
In the past several weeks we’ve had great fun reading and sorting wonderful and hilarious stories from more than 200 K-3 students across Arkansas. Now, after scoring, debating … and even a few tie-breakers, we’re ready to announce the 2014 winners! Find them — and links to their award-winning stories — after the jump. Read more

Greetings, earthlings! “Plum Landing” is coming to PBS KIDS
A new adventure is beginning at pbskids.org/plumlanding with the launch of a brand new, web-original that uses animated webisodes, online games, free apps, hands-on science activities and live-action videos — all featuring a curious alien named Plum — to help connect 6- to 9-year-olds to nature and get them excited about their roles as caretakers of the planet. Read more

Looking back - "Learn the Address" Campaign in review
Since November 2013, we’ve been discussing the “Learn the Address” campaign and the premiere of Ken Burn’s latest film, “The Address,” with you and viewers around the state. So, what’s come of the last six months of work and sharing? Great results, in our opinion! Join us after the jump for specifics. Read more

Celebrate Earth Week with AETN and PBS
Earth Day — falling on Tuesday, April 22, this year — is a great time to talk about a wide range of important and fun topics with the kids in your life! From conservation and ecology to getting out and exploring nature themselves, we have great suggestions for games, experiments, crafts and more after the jump. Read more

Greenbrier, Ark., educator Sarah Jerry named PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator
Everyone at AETN is thrilled to announce that Sarah Jerry, GT specialist at Greenbrier Eastside Elementary School, is one of the 100 educators nationwide named as a 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator! This program rewards tech-savvy K-12 educators across the U.S. who serve as leaders in educational technology and incorporate digital media in classrooms. We were pleased to surprise Mrs. Jerry with the news of her recognition and the year-long professional development opportunities she will receive. Read more

Earth Day - why not make it Earth Month? Explore the Outdoors with AETN KIDS!
It’s suddenly April … and it’s just beginning to feel like spring outside! Take advantage of the new, friendlier weather and AETN and PBS KIDS’ materials for turning our focus outdoors. You can learn how to help inspire kids to get moving outside and to protect our natural “playground” after the jump. Read more

‘The Cyberchase Movie’ premieres April 22
Conservation, technology and math skills, oh my! “The Cyberchase Movie” — the first ever film for the PBS KIDS series - is premiering on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, at 4:30 p.m. Learn more about the film and our annual Explore the Outdoors campaign after the jump. Read more

The Cat in the Hat is coming to Fort Smith April 19
Friends in Fort Smith and northwest Arkansas, your favorite chapeau-ed feline is making a visit! In partnership with Mercy Northwest Arkansas and Mercy Kids, we’re bringing the star of “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” to Fort Smith Public Library Saturday, April 19. Details about the free event and the fun we’ll have can be found after the jump. Read more

New “Wild Kratts” World Adventure App Available
Into “creature power” at your house? PBS KIDS has just launched an all-new “Wild Kratts” World Adventure App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and we think it’s going to be a hit with Kratt fans across the boards. Just in time for Earth Month, World Adventure invites kids to explore animal science and habitats while building key skills and encouraging science inquiry. Read more

Ken Burns' "The Address" lesson plans live
Educators, homeschoolers and parents take note! In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and the April 15 premiere of Ken Burns' latest documentary, "The Address," PBS and Burns have launched a national initiative to "Learn the Address." To take the project even further, we're excited to provide great classroom resources, materials, lessons plans and activities that will make learning about this import piece of American history even more interesting and engaging!
Read more

Ken Burns’ “The Address” Premieres April 15
Need something to make tax day a little more bearable? How about the premiere of Ken Burns’ latest documentary? In “The Address,” hear the stories of boys attending a Vermont school where children with learning difference memorize and recite the Gettysburg Address in public, and unlock the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address in the process! Read more

New series “Paint With Kevin” premieres April 5
Be sure to tune in for our newest crafting series, “Paint With Kevin” on Saturdays at 10 a.m., beginning April 5. In each 30-minute episode, eighteen-year-old painting phenom Kevin Hill invites painters of all skill levels to complete a new oil painting. Read on to learn more about the host and the painting methods you can expect to learn! Read more

Want to meet Cat in the Hat? We know a lot about that!
And, even better, we have excellent news! Cat in the Hat will join us and our friends from Mercy Northwest Arkansas to host an event in the Rogers Public Library Saturday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to noon. Learn more about this fun, free event after the jump. Read more

AETN KIDS Club Spring Reading List
Shake off the cold, and get ready for an adventure! Try out our reading suggestions - including a great book from Batesville, Ark., author and illustrator Mark Alan Rorie - to travel around Arkansas and the world from wherever you happen to be. Read more

Get Involved in the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Over the past year, everyone at AETN has been thrilled to participate in the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading mission to help all Arkansas third graders read on grade level by 2020, and we've especially enjoyed the opportunity its provided to carry out five kick-off events in grantee communities. But nothing could speak to the importance of the work we're doing in partnership with the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, through a grant from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, than seeing how it impacts Arkansas students! Read more

2014 AETN Student Selects accepting entries through April 4
The 2014 Student Selects competition is officially underway here at AETN, which means we’re now accepting films from students all across Arkansas. This is an excellent opportunity for any budding young filmmakers out there to get recognition - including broadcast, film festival screenings and scholarships - for his or her work, and this year we’re trying something out that will make it easier to for you to submit your entries. Read more

Learn the Address - Bringing History to Life
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, documentarian Ken Burns has launched a national effort to encourage everyone in America to record themselves reading or reciting the speech. Expand the collection with your rendition, and inspire others through the power of history at aetn.org/learntheaddress. Read more

2014 Digital Innovators Program Application Deadline is Feb. 14
Do you know an educator who's a digital superstar? Encourage him or her to apply to the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program. This year-long program - which recognizes educators who creatively integrate digital media and technology in the classroom - will foster and reward a community of 100 digitally-savvy K-12 educators. Learn more about the guidelines, benefits and prizes after the jump! Read more

AETN Kids Club December Booklist
Many exciting things happen in December - from Christmas parties and the start of "real" winter to possible snow days and the ending of a wonderful year! However, even more is possible when we step into the realm of books - the only present that can be a vacation, adventure and time machine … and fits into a stocking. See a few of the AETN Kids Club's top picks after the jump. Read more

Enjoy a Spooktacular Halloween with AETN!
Halloween is almost upon us - and we're glad to help you celebrate! From alien invasions and phantoms to a curious monkey's outrageous Halloween adventures, AETN is airing fun Halloween programming for all ages this week. Learn more about "War of the Worlds: American Experience," "Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall" and "Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest" after the jump. Read more

Last-Minute PBS Halloween Costumes
It's quitting time on October 31 - and you suddenly have a Halloween event to attend and … no costume. Don't worry we have a few ideas that you might be able to pull directly from your closet! From PBS icons to new Masterpiece favorites (for our sartorialists out there) join us after the jump for some great last-minute ideas! Read more

"Peg + Cat" premieres with math fun for preschoolers, starting Oct. 7
Get ready for hilarious, relatable adventures with plucky Peg and lovable Cat, best friends who work together to solve everyday problems using math and problem solving skills, starting Monday, Oct. 7. This educational and entertaining (even for grown-ups) program, produced by The Fred Rogers Company, will air at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Learn more about the fun to come after the jump! Read more

PBS Educational Resource PD Training Oct. 15
Join AETN Early Childhood Education Coordinator Amy Routt for a free professional development course about PBS' most innovative educational resources! Learn how to register for the Oct. 15 course and more about its offerings after the jump. Read more

"Design Squad Nation" site for your budding do-it-yourselfer
"Design Squad Nation" launches a new Engineering website for your budding do-it-yourselfer! Tweens, families…anyone can be an engineer here.  This interactive community challenges kids to express their adventurous, do-it-yourself spirit by providing a forum to share their ideas with like-minded creative kids.  Make a balloon engine, learn how roller coasters work, share your own ideas and more! Read more