Friday, February 22, 2008

Leadertship Toledo, Media Day, Part B

As I mentioned in part A, the Leadership Toledo Media Day, started at WGTE Public Broadcasting station.

I was amazed at all they do. I just thought they were a TV station.

Not only do they have several TV and radio stations, but they also provide a huge educational component to the community. They do this in several ways.

Of course, their programming is focused on the gathering and producing of local history, especially in relation to larger events. A program that is already produced and ready to broadcast on Feb 28 is about how World War II affected the Toledo population at the local level. Many citizens were interviewed of which a smattering will make it to the screen. Even so, the history has been documented for future citizens to refer to.

Another educational component is how the station supports the professional development of teachers, especially with the use of technology. Not only do teachers gain skills in how to use technology in their classrooms (Smartboards, class websites, digital photography, Internet safety) but they can also access a whole library of topics to use for lessons with their students. There is a 75 page printed media guide that lists just about any topic known to man. Subject headings include everything from African American Studies to Women's Studies with Art, Science, Careers and Health just a few in-between. Some listings are just the video and others are "kits" including student activity books, books and something called manipulatives!

And this is all free!

Another initiative is the reading program that they are working on. They are one of five stations nationwide chosen for this grant. They have produced a children's program called Word World (say that fast five times!) and also have a program for early childhood reading development and the parents of these children. Their statistics show that the children they are reaching in this program have been read to a TOTAL of 24 hours when they begin school. You say, "24 hours, that sounds like a lot?" Think about it. That's over a minimum of five years, probably closer to six for most children. Do the math. That is somewhere between 4 - 4.8 hours PER YEAR. ONLY ONE HOUR EVERY THREE MONTHS. (Advantaged children usually have been read to in the range of 1500 - 1700 hours when they start school.)

Of course, much of the funding for a public broadcasting station comes viewers just like you and me. Little did I know how far those dollars stretch.

My year in Leadership Toledo is certainly helping to know where stuff is in Toledo. What I didn't realize that I'd find out was the depth of what each entity offers.

By the way, Leadership Toledo is having their annual breakfast on March 7. It would be a super opportunity for you to find out more about this wonderful organization. You do need to have a reservation to attend. If you are in the NW Ohio area and would like to attend email me at

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