Teachers on TV: Bridging the Digital Divide
NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release| ctulocal1.org CTU, local FOX stations partner on educational programming during pandemic “We Still Teach” initiative will connect union’s dynamic teaching force with students sheltering in place, particularly those who continue to lack broadband access and/or devices to work remotely electronically.
CHICAGO, May 6, 2020—The Chicago Teachers Union is launching a partnership with Fox32/WPWR My50 to broadcast educational videos on television, as part of the union’s effort to bridge the digital divide during remote learning. Thousands of CPS students still lack adequate electronic devices and/or broadband internet access. This programming aims to offer every student access to shared content that educates, inspires and motivates learning during school closures. The show, “We Still Teach,” will launch Monday, May 11, on Fox 32 / WPWR My50 and will run through the end of the CPS school year, Friday, June 19. School children in grades K-12 can tune in to Fox32/WPWR My50 weekdays at 11 a.m., for an hour of educational content from CTU teachers, as well as entertainment made possible through the generosity of community partnerships with the Chicago Teachers Union. “We have enormous teaching talent in this school district, and it’s thrilling to see our educators step up to the plate and offer our students this valuable content,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey. “Our members are working their hearts out to teach remotely, even as they manage their own kids’ education and their households’ needs during this public health crisis. This partnership with FOX32/My50 adds an important layer of effort to their work.” Programming will focus largely on exploring topics within core academic subjects: reading, writing, math, social studies, science, and social and emotional learning; as well as special subjects including world languages, library, art, music, PE or extracurricular activities. Mondays and Wednesdays will focus on kindergarten through third grade school children, and Tuesdays and Thursdays will focus on learning for those in fourth through eighth grade. Fridays will program content for all ages, grades K-12, with an added focus on highlighting special subjects outlined above, plus additional community-building content such as performances, events, and more that could be of interest to the whole family. “All of us at FOX 32 and My50 TV want to thank the Chicago Teachers Union for partnering with us to get this important educational information to the community," said FOX 32 and My50 TV Senior Vice President and General Manager Dennis Welsh. "During these unparalleled times, we must all come together to support our families and children’s education. This partnership effort simply reinforces our dedication to the community in a new and unique way.” The CTU’s efforts are being stewarded by Executive Producer Katherine O’Brien, a veteran writer, filmmaker, story consultant, educator, and community activist who is also a parent of two kids at LaSalle Language Academy, the spouse of a social studies teacher at Lincoln Park High School, and a candidate for the 2020 Local School Council. “When schools closed, I couldn’t stop thinking about how we might be able to tackle the incredibly inequitable digital divide as a community.” O’Brien said. Together with two co-executive producers—Emmy-Award winning journalist Melinda Spaulding and producer/consultant Tamika Spaulding—O’Brien brainstormed possibilities that might work in Chicago. Inspired by Melinda Spaulding’s successfully launched, FOX-affiliated efforts in Houston and D.C, O’Brien brought the idea to the Chicago Teachers Union. “We Still Teach” was conceived and launched in short order, made possible by Fox32/My50, ready to reach deep into the community in service to all. “We have an amazing opportunity here to do a lot of good for a lot of folks," said O’Brien. "This effort is a testament to the incredible efforts of Chicago’s teachers, who are going above and beyond to connect to school children across the digital divide, and to the generosity of our amazing community of artists and supporters as well as Fox32/My50.” said O’Brien. VIEWING GUIDE
11 AM Mondays/Wednesdays K-3
11 AM Tuesdays/Thursdays 4-8
11 AM Fridays All Ages K-12
About WFLD-TV FOX 32 /WPWR My50 WFLD FOX 32 and WPWR My50 are part of the FOX Television Stations, which owns and operates 29 full power broadcast television stations in the U.S. These include stations located in nine of the top ten largest designated market areas (DMAs), and duopolies in 11 DMAs, including the three largest DMAs (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago). Of these stations, 18 are affiliated with the FOX Network. In addition to distributing sports, entertainment and syndicated content, our television stations collectively produce nearly 1,000 hours of local news every week. These stations leverage viewer, distributor and advertiser demand for the FOX Network’s national content. ### The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in schools funded by City of Chicago School District 299, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.