Get Your Child Ready to Head Back to School and Prevent the “Summer Slide”

Join Idaho Public Television, the English Language Center and the Idaho Office for Refugees, projects of Jannus, Idaho Digital Learning Alliance and the State Board of Education for  Classroom Idaho’s back-to-school Boot Camp on our CREATE Channel. Classroom Idaho Boot Camp is available for FREE across the entire state via over-the-air antenna. Additionally, many cable providers broadcast the CREATE Channel in your area.

Lessons are taught by certified Gem State teachers, and are aligned to Idaho content standards.  Elementary school modules will air Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 8 a.m., July 14th through August 13th. 

English Language courses (ELL) will air on Mondays and repeat on Fridays beginning at Noon, July 13th through August 14th. These courses will be for both children and adults.

College and career readiness sessions will be offered on Mondays and repeated on Fridays at 11:30 a.m. These courses will be taught by academic advisors and help prepare students and parents for college and career.

During the five-week summer session, K-6th-grade students will be given direct instruction from a certified Idaho teacher via our Create channel. For the primary grades, students will get a crash course in literacy, while fourth through sixth grades will focus on English language arts and math.

The same lessons will also be available for students with internet access at IdahoPTV’s YouTube channel.

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Idaho Public Television’s mission is to provide FREE standards-aligned instruction for all Idaho children during this time of need. This will ensure Gem State students have access to educational materials, regardless of their access to broadband internet.

In addition to our over-the-air programming, parents of K-3rd-grade students can register their students by visiting Idaho Digital Learning Alliance or by texting “register” to 201-474-3831. After enrolling, you will receive enrichment activities and weekly support from a certified teacher.

IdahoPTV’s over-the-air broadcast channels are free to receive. All you need is an antenna. Our signal is available to over 99 percent of the households in Idaho. For information on where to find our CREATE channel and other free channels in your area, or how to re-scan to find our channels, visit our website.

Our full channel lineup is also available on many major cable outlets around the state. Check with your local cable provider.

Idaho Public Television General Manager Ron Pisaneschi shared the station’s enthusiasm for the project noting that “We are pleased to partner with the Jannus, the State Board of Education and Idaho Digital Learning Alliance to use the power of public television to deliver these lessons to students and families in homes throughout Idaho. PBS has always been America’s largest classroom, but now we are bringing Idaho’s teachers and their lessons directly into students’ homes.”

“For anyone who has studied another language, excellent instruction and opportunities to practice are key. Partnering with Idaho Public Television allows us to provide remote learning in new ways. The IdahoPTV platform allows families to learn English and access lessons from the safety of their homes. These lessons are meant to help build language skills in children and parents and to provide opportunities for families to practice together.”
— Kate Udall, Manager of the English Language Center at Jannus

“We are so excited to work with Idaho Public Television to bring the joy of reading to K-3 students.  Certified teachers from both organizations have worked together to create a fun summer program that will help make sure students are ready for their next grade level when school opens again this fall.”
— Jolene Montoya, Ed.S. Director of Curriculum On-Line Principal

“The academic needs of our students are consistently at the forefront of our Board’s work. Now more than ever, we must utilize every tool available to support what was lost and minimize the impacts moving into the new school year. Classroom Idaho Bootcamp is one of those tools. Every opportunity we have to highlight these opportunities is time well spent. We see so many partners springing to action and we need every one of them. Leveraging the power of IPTV, we can bring the needed supports right to homes and to students.”
— Debbie Critchfield, president of the State Board of Education.

CLASSROOM IDAHO: Boot Camp is a partnership of Idaho Public Television, the English Language Center and the Idaho Office for Refugees, projects of Jannus, Idaho Digital Learning Alliance and the State Board of Education.

Join Us From Anywhere for Online Screenings of These New Films

Idaho Public Television is launching a new virtual viewing and online discussion experience. This month, join us to watch new episodes of Idaho Experience on July 12 and Outdoor Idaho on July 13. Each screening is followed by conversations with the filmmakers, experts and special guests answering your questions.

These are free online events using the video streaming platform OVEEYou will need to sign up with OVEE (it’s free) and then all you need to participate is a computer or iPad with a strong internet connection. Before the event, you can click here to run a test to ensure OVEE works properly on your device.

Fall 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. It remains a war without peer and is arguably the most documented in American history. Yet, the vast majority of that documentation has been produced by people from older generations.

Now, a group of Idaho State University honors students have co-authored Idaho in World War II, a book highlighting life in Idaho during that time and how the state played a vital role in the war.

Register here to attend a free OVEE screening of Idaho Experience “Through Youthful Eyes” and a Q&A with the producers: Sunday, July 12, at 6 PM Mountain Time.

As Idaho’s population increases, the space that separates humans from animals continues to shrink, and that has led to moments of wonder as well as problems for wildlife managers. To capture some of these moments, Outdoor Idaho reached out to people across the state for footage of their brief encounters with wildlife in their own backyards.

Register here to attend a free OVEE screening of Outdoor Idaho “Urban Wildlife” and a discussion with the filmmakers: Monday, July 13, at 7 PM Mountain Time.

“Idaho Public Television’s mission is to ‘harness the power of public media to encourage lifelong learning, connect our communities, and enrich the lives of all Idahoans,'” says Jenifer Johnson, IdahoPTV’s director of strategic fundraising. “We are launching these virtual events to reach out, connect and engage with others, even when we can’t be face-to-face.”

“We are using an online streaming platform called OVEE, which stands for Online Viewing and Engagement Experience. Created by the Independent Television Service, and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, OVEE is like a virtual theater that allows us to watch together and chat live with friends, fans, and experts. It’s all about quality video and quality conversations. When you register, you will be asked to create a profile on OVEE – which is free – and we’ll connect with you in that space, when the screening starts.”

Idaho Public Television plans to host at least one screening event monthly, so check our events page for announcements and registration links. Registration information is found at

Idaho Residents Document Urban Wildlife, World War II Era

New episodes of Outdoor Idaho and Idaho Experience in July meet Idaho residents whose videos and writing capture some unique aspects of life in our state.

“Urban Wildlife” on Outdoor Idaho

As Idaho’s population increases, the space that separates humans from animals continues to shrink, and that has led to problems for wildlife managers as well as moments of wonder. To capture some of these moments, Outdoor Idaho reached out to people across the state for footage of their brief encounters.

“I had no idea we would receive so much video from folks,” says producer Lauren Melink. “I figured we’d get a goose or two, but not mountain lions in the backyard. It’s really been incredible to see urban wildlife through the eyes of the people actually experiencing it firsthand, but it can also be unnerving when a mountain lion is peering through your window.”

Urban Wildlife airs Thursday, July 16, at 8 PM. Or stream it early on the PBS Video app or online beginning July 9.

According to the show’s host, Bruce Reichert, “In our 37 year history, we’ve never used so much video from other people. So it’s a great program to produce during a pandemic; we can maintain social distancing and still tell an interesting story.”

“Through Youthful Eyes” on Idaho Experience

Fall 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. It remains a war without peer and is arguably the most documented in American history. Yet, the vast majority of that documentation has been produced by people from older generations.

Now, a group of Idaho State University honors students have co-authored Idaho in World War II, a book highlighting life in Idaho during that time, and how the state played a vital role in the war.

Their professor, Dr. Alex Bolinger, is proud of how a group of millennials — Kathryn Rose, Sophia Perry, Dalene Hunter and Ashley French — approached such an important topic. “Not only is their research incredibly thorough, but they care … they want to connect to events that happened 75 years ago.”

Idaho Experience producer Forrest Burger is equally impressed. “It’s apparent these young women are excited to bring a youthful perspective to a war fought generations ago.”

Through Youthful Eyes airs Thursday, July 16, at 8:30 PM. Or stream it early on the PBS Video app or online beginning July 9.

Idaho Ready to Learn: Countdown to Kindergarten, Virtual Parent and Caregiver Event June 23rd & 24th

If your child is starting kindergarten this fall, join Idaho Public Television, Idaho AEYC (Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children), Lee Pesky Learning Center and other community partners for our two-day Virtual Parent and Caregiver Event June 23rd & 24th on Facebook Live. Educational professionals from around the state will share information about kindergarten registration, what to expect during your child’s first year of school, developmental milestones, summer learning activities and much more.

Idaho Ready to Learn: Countdown to Kindergarten is an exciting new program that supports parents and caregivers of incoming kindergartners. We have weekly calendars full of activities you can do with your child to help them feel excited for all the fun they will have in kindergarten. Each week will focus on a different skill that will be taught in kindergarten. For each skill there are hands-on activities, digital games, and unplugged activities for every day of the week. Our website is a great place to find even more resources to help your child get excited and feel confident on their first day of school.

20200522 Idaho Ready to Learn Bento Hero CarouselJoin us June 23-24 for a two-day event on Facebook Live! Professionals from around Idaho will share important information, tips, and educational activities to help your child get excited and registered for kindergarten.

Pacific Time Zone Viewers Will See Schedule Change on June 1

Beginning Monday, June 1, viewers in the Pacific time zone will see a one-hour shift in the broadcast schedule on our PLUS, WORLD, CREATE and PBS KIDS channels. Programs that currently broadcast at 7 p.m. on these four channels, for example, will begin broadcasting one hour later at 8 p.m. beginning June 1.

Programs on our main IDAHO channel, which made the one-hour time shift several years ago, will not be affected by the current change.

This change allows us to broadcast programs across all five of our channels at a consistent time throughout Idaho. It also allows us to simplify our online and print broadcast schedules — eliminating the confusion caused by our current split time designations (5 p.m. Mountain/4 p.m. Pacific, etc.).

Live events such as the governor’s press conferences, presidential State of the Union addresses, emergency broadcasts, etc. will continue to be broadcast in real time across both time zones.

IdahoPTV launches its first virtual book club

Virtual Book Club WordPress (1)We have launched our new Virtual Book Club for kids grades 3-6. Our first book will be “The Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson. We will meet once each week via Zoom to explore the book together. Learn more and sign up for the book club.

Any child in grades 3-6 can participate in the virtual book club. If you cannot afford a book, please email me at Financial assistance is available and no child will be turned away due to a financial need.

The book club is virtual, via Zoom. The meetings will be password protected so we can ensure the group will stay private and safe. Prior to the first group meeting, we will send you a link to join the session.

3rd grade will meet Wednesdays from 4:00 – 4:30 PM.
The meeting schedule is as follows:

  • May 13th – Introductions
  • May 20th – Chapters 1 & 2
  • May 27th – Chapters 3 & 4
  • June 3rd – Chapters 5 & 6
  • June 10th – Chapters 7 & 8
  • June 17th – Chapters 9 & 10
  • June 24th – Chapters 11, 12, & 13

4th grade will meet Tuesdays from 9:30 – 10:00 AM.
The meeting schedule is as follows:

  • May 12th – Introductions
  • May 19th – Chapters 1 & 2
  • May 26th – Chapters 3 & 4
  • June 2nd – Chapters 5 & 6
  • June 9th – Chapters 7 & 8
  • June 16th – Chapters 9 & 10
  • June 23rd – Chapters 11, 12, & 13

5th and 6th grades will meet together Thursdays from 10:30- 11:00 AM.
The meeting schedule is as follows:

  • May 14th – Introductions
  • May 21st – Chapters 1 & 2
  • May 28th – Chapters 3 & 4
  • June 4th – Chapters 5 & 6
  • June 11th – Chapters 7 & 8
  • June 18th – Chapters 9 & 10
  • June 25th – Chapters 11, 12, & 13

Parents are not required to attend the video call with their child, but are welcome to if they feel more comfortable. We will not be recording the discussions in order to protect the privacy of participants. If you have other children in the house who would enjoy being part of the club, they are welcome to participate. We would love to see entire families be part of this!

  • Each week, I will email audio recordings of each chapter to support kids who prefer to follow along while listening.
  • You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon for $7.99.
  • If you need assistance getting the book, please let us know when you RSVP. No family will be turned away due to financial need.
  • Please fill out this short form to RSVP for the book club.

If any questions come up, please don’t hesitate to email me at

I am looking forward to starting this adventure with your family!


‘Idaho Reports’ Now Available as a Podcast

Idaho Reports, the Northwest’s longest-running public policy show, has always kept you informed with the latest from the Idaho Legislature. This year we’ve expanded our coverage beyond the legislative session to bring you nightly updates on the coronavirus response in Idaho, Q&A sessions with Gov. Brad Little and public health professionals, and Friday round-ups of the week’s developments.

Now Idaho Reports is available on-the-go as a podcast.

You can now get all our Idaho Reports content in audio form on most major podcast players. That includes our Monday-Friday coronavirus updates, our half-hour Friday shows, our live Q&A specials with the governor, and all of our web extras.

You can find us on SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes, RadioPublic, and other popular podcast platforms. Search for Idaho Reports, subscribe and get our updates automatically on your feed.

We’ll continue to post videos on our Facebook and YouTube channels. This just gives folks even more flexibility in how they get our information.

Explore Idaho History Through Two Local Films

Two new documentary films from Idaho Public Television original series Outdoor Idaho and Idaho Experience examine the modern-day legacies of two very different moments in Idaho history.

Trailblazers airs Thursday, May 14, at 8 PM on Outdoor Idaho. Most modern-day “trailblazers” don’t work outside unless it’s their day off. They’re volunteers, but in the woods they look a lot like the nation’s original trailblazers, the Civilian Conservation Corp. President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the public works program in 1933 to revive America during the Great Depression. With nearly 300 work camps in Idaho, the Gem State was the heart of the CCC.

“Trail work isn’t any easier today than it was a century ago. Some of the tools are the same and the intensity of the labor is definitely the same,” says Kris Millgate, Outdoor Idaho producer. “A lot of people aren’t interested in such an exhausting effort. We’re lucky here in Idaho to have so many people who are willing to dig in the dirt.”

That dedication to dirt is no longer inspired by the Depression. It’s motivated by access. Those cutting trail now make sure paths across public lands stay open, despite shrinking budgets, by working for free. 

Outdoor Idaho discovers how public lands are evolving from a network of trails once curated by the nation’s CCC to a labor of love tended by the many users of the dusty system. They are outfitters in the Palisades and trail runners around Pocatello. They are water bar builders out of Boise and mountain bikers in Salmon. There’s no paycheck for clearing the way. No pat on the sore back for maintaining access. And no recognition for work done before play. From past generations to those yet to come, they are Idaho’s trailblazers.

Remembering Bear River airs Thursday, May 14, at 8:30 PM on Idaho Experience. When independent filmmaker Phillip Schoen started out to document archeology work at the site of the Bear River Massacre, he had no inkling how challenging it would be to tell the story of what happened in January 1863 in what is now southeast Idaho.

“I got into it and realized it was a much bigger project than I had anticipated,” Schoen says. “So I just kept going and going, getting more and more stuff.”

There’s little left today at the place where 350 Shoshone people were killed in 1863 by army troops under the command of Col. Patrick Connor. It’s among the worst atrocities ever committed by federal troops against Native Americans, but the massacre is little known — and wasn’t even officially labeled a massacre until recent decades. Today, the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation is raising money to build a cultural and interpretive center there.

Phillip grew up in Victor, Idaho, and is a film student in California. He connected with Idaho Public Television, which uses its Idaho Experience series to give independent documentary makers a place to share their work about Idaho history. “I think what the film really comes down to is … how do we deal with our history? How do we deal with our past?” Schoen says. “Different people have different answers. The tribe feels one way about how we should remember this. And scientists feel totally another way about how we … understand what happened here. And so finding that balance, I think, is really what this film is about.”

Idaho Teacher Gabriel Garcia Named PBS Digital Innovator All-Star

Idaho Public Television is excited to announce that Gabriel Garcia, a teacher in the Boise School District, is one of 19 educators nationwide recognized as a PBS Digital Innovator All-Star. Garcia teaches video production at Capital High School and computer science at Riverglen Junior High School in Boise.

Each of the Digital Innovator All-Stars was selected from a cohort of extraordinary educators characterized by their ability to seamlessly integrate media and digital technology into their learning environments and to inspire students to use media and emerging technologies in responsible, effective and empowering ways.

Garcia was named Idaho’s PBS Digital Innovator in May 2019, which put him into consideration for the national All-Star honor. The PBS Digital Innovator All-Star program expands on these educators’ influential work, deepening their roles as leaders in integrating technology and digital media into the classroom — supporting students’ learning through increasingly important media literacy skills.

“PBS is honored to recognize these educators for the invaluable role they play in their communities,” says Sara Schapiro, Vice President of Education at PBS. “We have been especially proud of the work they continue to do in these unprecedented times, establishing new and innovative teaching techniques through distance learning, further solidifying the reasons they were distinguished as PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars.”

In partnership with Idaho Public Television, Garcia will spend the 2020-2021 school year deepening engagement among students, families, educators, schools and IdahoPTV education staff. As an exclusive part of the program, Garcia will have access to virtual and in-person events, including the PBS Digital Innovator All-Star Summit, to connect and learn with peers and station representatives from across the country.

The PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars were chosen based on a variety of criteria, including passion for their role as an educator, outcomes from their time as PBS Digital Innovators, connections to their communities and service to under-resourced families. The full list of the 2020 PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars can be found here.

Bright by Text supports healthy child development and builds strong, resilient families

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Looking for some help engaging your little one? IdahoPTV has you covered. Simply text the word IDAHOFAMILY to the number 274448. Bright by Text is a free service offered in English and Spanish. Games and activities to help kids learn at home are tailored to the age of your child and texted directly to you for free 2-4 times a week. For more information visit

To help parents navigate the latest information and recommendations to ensure the health of families, Bright by Text offers expert tips about community resources, safety protocols and at-home activities to engage children. Bright by Text collaborates with experts like the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), PBS Kids, Nurse-Family Partnership and others to provide an expert-backed health and wellness curriculum.

“IdahoPTV is excited to partner with Bright by Text to meet the needs of Idaho families. This gives us a greater opportunity to get our resources into the hands of parents who may not have the internet or the ability to attend activities with their kids. Bright by Text is a creative way to reach out to families with very young learners and help set children up for success from cradle to career.” — Samantha Hill, M.Ed., IdahoPTV Family Engagement Specialist

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, neighbor, or babysitter, Bright by Text can make caring for a little one easier! To receive free tips and learning-games directly to your phone, simply text the word IDAHOFAMILY to the number 274448.