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PreK-12 educators can enter the PBS Teachers Innovation Awards program through March 12 for a chance to win a behind-the-scenes trip to the premier annual PBS event and other prizes

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 27, 2010 - America's future is being shaped by creative and inspiring educators who are grooming tomorrow's leaders by helping students develop their academic talents today. These innovators are engaging students at new levels, sparking their curiosity and tapping into students' natural instinct to explore. To honor and celebrate these educators, the new annual PBS Teachers Innovation Awards will showcase best practices in support of the growth and advancement of the teaching profession. PBS and its local stations are calling all preK-12 educators who inspire and engage students through innovative classroom techniques to enter the PBS Teachers Innovation Awards program by March 12. Details are at http://www.pbs.org/teachers/innovators/.

Whether teaching students physics with rocket launchers, social studies through historical re-enactments, or literature by inviting students to create digital stories, teachers are innovating and making a difference in the lives of students every day. "No other factor is more important for improving student learning than teachers," said Rob Lippincott, senior vice president of education for PBS. "Through the PBS Teachers Innovation Awards, we want to recognize effective teachers and the instructional practices they use to help students reach their potential."

President Barack Obama recognized the PBS Teachers Innovation Awards program earlier this month during an event at the White House marking the second phase of the "Educate to Innovate" campaign.

PreK-12 educators of all levels, including classroom teachers, library media specialists, and homeschooling parents, can enter the PBS Teachers Innovation Awards program. To enter, teachers must submit a 200-word essay demonstrating why they are innovative educators, and include a video or photograph showing how they inspire students. A panel of PBS TeacherLine course facilitators, expert teachers with years of classroom teaching experience and who've earned master's degrees in education, will evaluate the entries. Fifty winners will be selected based on their level of innovation and effectiveness, among other criteria.

Ten of the most innovative teachers will receive a behind-the-scenes trip to the Annual PBS Showcase in Austin, Texas on May 17-20, 2010, to see sneak previews of PBS programs, meet producers, and attend premiere events. Forty winners will receive a bag of PBS gifts that will include best-selling and award-winning PBS programs in digital formats and much more. All of the winners will receive free enrollment in an online facilitated professional development course from PBS TeacherLine, and will be invited to partner with PBS and local stations as leaders in classroom innovation. Teachers will have the opportunity to contribute their ideas and provide feedback on PBS programming and educational services.

The winning entries will be featured on the PBS Teachers Web site. PBS Teachers (pbsteachers.org) is the Web portal to PBS' preK-12 educational services and a searchable library of more than 9,000 free local and national standards-based instructional resources, including on-demand video and interactive games.

Every educator who enters will be registered as members of the PBS Teachers online community where they can connect, collaborate, and share with their peers about integrating digital media and technology in education, and will receive a 10 percent discount to the online PBS store.

For more information on content rules and criteria, or to enter, go to http://www.pbs.org/teachers/innovators/. Entries will be accepted until March 12. Winners will be announced on April 5. The PBS Teachers Innovation Awards are funded in part by a grant from Elmer's Products, Inc.

About PBS
PBS, with its 356 member stations, offers all Americans - from every walk of life - the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each week, PBS reaches more than 124 million people and invites them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and Web site, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.


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Kevin Dando, PBS, 703-739-5073; kdando@pbs.org

Kristen Plemon, C. Blohm & Associates, 608-839-9805; kristen@cblohm.com