TN Department of Education Awards $1M to Tennessee’s PBS Stations

Friday, January 08, 2021 | 02:27pm


Funding to Continue Supporting Families and Students


Nashville, TN—Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced $1 million will be awarded to Tennessee's six PBS stations- WNPT Nashville, East Tennessee PBS, WCTE Upper Cumberland, WKNO Memphis, West TN PBS, and Chattanooga WTCI- for their partnership to engage families and support quality education for students across the state.  

"The department is pleased to award the state’s six PBS station $1 million to support the critical role our public television stations have played, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, to engage families and provide access to educational resources and supports,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We thank the Tennessee PBS stations for their partnership to ensure students can have daily access to Tennessee teachers and classroom lessons.” 

In collaboration with Tennessee teachers and districts, the department created an at-home learning series with over 300 instructional classroom video lessons for 1st –8th grade students airing across all six Tennessee PBS stations since the spring. 

“It is an honor to work closely with Tennessee Department of Education on providing teacher created content for an At Home Learning Block in this trying time for our Tennessee families and children.  COVID-19 put all of us in an unprecedented situation and I'm so grateful that our Tennessee Public Television Stations were ready and willing to serve in this capacity and continue to look for ways to grow that service,” said Becky Magura, President and CEO of WCTE. “This amazing award of one million dollars to TN PBS stations in support of our amazing partnership in engaging and supporting our families and students could not come at a more important time.  As our PBS stations work daily to serve our communities in this pandemic, the support from the Tennessee Department of Education is needed and deeply appreciated. We are so very grateful!" 

This additional one million dollars is one-time funding from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) through the CARES Act. 

This winter, families and students have had the opportunity to utilize the Winter Foundations Bootcamp, which focuses on literacy and math foundational skills for Pre-K through 2nd grade students with additional content on science. These lessons are airing on all six Tennessee PBS stations weekdays from 9 a.m. –11 a.m. CT through the end of January. The schedule and additional information can be found on the department’s website

Since April, the department has aired academic instructional classroom videos on Tennessee’s PBS stations across the state. The video lessons are also available on the department’s YouTube page and have had more than 100,000 views there since the spring. 

For additional information on the department’s COVID-19 and school reopening related resources, please visit For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact