Online Discussion Helps Parents Prepare Children for Kindergarten

Parents, caregivers and childcare providers are invited to participate in a free online discussion about preparing children for kindergarten. The conversation, which will be hosted Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 6:00/5:00 p.m. Mountain/Pacific on the Zoom teleconferencing platform, is the first in a discussion series called “Parent Talk.”

What: Parent Talk – “Getting Ready for Kindergarten”

When: Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 6:00/5:00 p.m. Mountain/Pacific

Where: Online via Zoom – Register here

Details: Join Florina Ruvio, Idaho Public Television education specialist, and a group of Idaho classroom teachers to discuss specific actions parents, caregivers and childcare providers can take to prepare children for their first year of school. Panelists will share tools for helping kids learn letter recognition, games that incorporate counting and more.

This is the first in a series of quarterly discussions called “Parent Talk.” According to Ruvio, future discussions are planned for April 27, July 27 and October 25, 2022. The next conversation, on April 27, will feature school librarians discussing how caregivers can encourage a love of reading in children.

“I wanted to give parents the space to ask questions they don’t have time to ask before a child starts school or in the short 15-minute parent-teacher conferences, questions we all have probably had at one point or another,” Ruvio says. “Educators are such a wealth of knowledge and they dedicate their lives to helping children thrive. I want to help people remember that and build a better parent-teacher relationship so that children are supported as they make their way through school. Hopefully, if it does well, we’ll continue these and hold discussions about middle and high schoolers as well.” For more information on the Parent Talk series, visit or contact Florina Ruvio at

Educational Programs for Teens and Adults Each Weekday Afternoon

Beginning in January, each weekday afternoon from 4:00 to 5:30 PM, teen and adult viewers can enjoy a block of educational programming with a different theme each day.

Mondays, experience adventures and challenges faced by cultures around the world and throughout history. The 1900 Island (Jan. 3, 10, 17 & 24 at 4 PM) follows four families as they go “back in time” to the start of the 20th century to see if they can endure the challenges of living in a rural fishing community on the island of Llanddwyn in northwest Wales. (IdahoPTV Passport members can stream the entire series here.) In Vintage Roads Great and Small (beginning Jan. 31 at 4 PM), actors Christopher Timothy and Peter Davison embark on a series of journeys around Britain, exploring beautiful areas of the country and experiencing a number of classic vehicles from the 1930s. My World Too (beginning Jan. 3 at 5 PM) shares inspirational stories of environmental stewardship, organic practices, and Earth-friendly innovations that viewers can learn from and apply in their own lives.

Tuesdays, learn about the natural world with science and nature topics. In To the Ends of the Earth (Jan. 4 & 11 at 4 PM), professional wildlife photographer Todd Gustafson brings viewers to eye level with the world’s most dramatic wildlife. In A Walk in the Park With Nick Mollé (Jan. 18 & 25 at 4 PM), naturalist Mollé goes in search of unique wildlife in the world’s parks and nature reserves. Untamed (beginning Jan. 4 at 5 PM) introduces viewers to the natural and man-made challenges facing wildlife today and, most importantly, what humans can do to make a difference.

Wednesdays, examine the lives and achievements of renowned artists in biographies from American Masters: television writer Norman Lear (Jan. 5 at 4 PM), violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman (Jan. 12 at 4 PM), artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (Jan. 19 at 4 PM), and actor Raúl Juliá (Jan. 26 at 4 PM).

Thursdays, travel to the world’s top destinations. In The Good Road (beginning Jan. 6 at 4 PM), hosts Earl Bridges and Craig Martin trek around the world to meet people who are making a difference. In Bare Feet With Mickela Mallozzi (beginning Jan. 6 at 4:30 PM), join dancer Mickela Mallozzi as she experiences the world, exploring the traditional dances of every culture she encounters while connecting with the local community. In Dream of Italy (beginning Jan. 6 at 5 PM), Italian travel expert Kathy McCabe meets the country’s colorful locals — chefs, artisans, historians — who are deeply connected to their land.

Fridays, explore the culture and natural landmarks of America’s rural communities. Prairie Mosaic (beginning Jan. 7 at 4 PM) features the arts, culture, and history of the northern plains region. Wild Nevada (beginning Jan. 7 at 4:30 PM) is a travel-destination series that explores points of interest and unique landmarks in the interior of Nevada. This Is Utah (beginning Jan. 7 at 5 PM) features stories about the arts, culture, food, and events, told through the voices of the individuals who make Utah unique.

Catch Up With ‘All Creatures Great & Small’ Before Season 2 Begins

Enjoy a marathon of All Creatures Great and Small Season 1 airing Saturday, Jan. 1, from noon until 7:30 PM on the PLUS Channel. This new Masterpiece adaptation of James Herriot’s beloved books opens in 1937, when Herriot, fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, follows his dream to become a vet in the magnificent Yorkshire Dales, one of England’s most beloved and beautiful landscapes. He soon discovers that treating the animals is as much about treating their owners, and the Dales’ farmers are a tough crowd to please. At Skeldale House, James gets to know his newly formed dysfunctional family: his chaotic and erratic boss, Siegfried Farnon; Farnon’s wayward brother, Tristan; and the shrewd Mrs. Hall, who is endlessly steering the ship. When local beauty Helen Alderson attracts James’s attention, he finds another, more endearing reason to stay in the Dales.

Following the Season 1 marathon, stay tuned for All Creatures Great and Small: Between the Pages (7:30 PM), a 90-minute special that transports viewers behind the scenes of the hit series and offers a sneak peek at Season 2. The program includes interviews with cast members Anna Madely (Mrs. Hall), Nicholas Ralph (James Herriot), Rachel Shenton (Helen Alderson), Samuel West (Siegfried Farnon) and Callum Woodhouse (Tristan Farnon), as well as the producers and writers behind the series. The special looks back at Dame Diana Rigg in her final role as the delightfully eccentric Mrs. Pumphrey, reveals what it’s like to work with the animals, visits the timeless set of this sweeping drama, and explores the love triangle that provides laughter, tears and romance. The special airs again Sunday, Jan. 2, at 10:30 PM on the IDAHO Channel.

Season 2 of All Creatures Great and Small begins Sunday, Jan. 9, at 9 PM on the IDAHO Channel. As the new season opens, James returns from Glasgow where he has been visiting his parents for Easter. While there he is offered a job at a modern local veterinary practice, and he must decide between staying home in Glasgow with his elderly parents or returning to his new life in Yorkshire.

Young Writers! It’s Time to Enter the PBS KIDS Writers Contest

For the 28th year, Idaho Public Television is hosting the PBS KIDS Writers Contest. IdahoPTV’s three regional stations — KUID/Moscow, KISU/Pocatello and KAID/Boise — encourage young authors and artists in kindergarten through third grade to write and illustrate their own imaginative story and submit it by Saturday, March 19, for a chance to win prizes and have their work published online.

Entry forms, rules, FAQs and teacher tips are available at The contest is open to children in grades K-3 residing within IdahoPTV’s over-the-air service area, which includes all of Idaho and parts of Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon and Nevada.

Regional volunteer panels will judge the entries on creativity, originality, language skills and illustrations. Winners in each grade level from each of the three Idaho regions will be selected and will receive prizes including toys, books, and a $100 contribution to an IDeal – Idaho College Savings Program account. Winners will be announced on or around April 1, 2022.

In May, a virtual awards ceremony will be held in each region of Idaho to celebrate the winners and their stories. The winning stories will then be uploaded in full color onto the IdahoPTV website:

IdahoPTV thanks IDeal – Idaho College Savings Program for their continued sponsorship of the PBS KIDS Writers Contest.

Consider Making Your Year-End Donation Today

Idaho Public Television exists for one powerful reason: to serve our local community. That means we’re responsive to, and dependent on, viewers like you — not advertisers, not ratings, not profit margins.

That’s why your year-end donation is so important and why we ask for you to consider donating today. IdahoPTV offers superb programs that enrich, educate and entertain. Because community support from our viewers makes it all possible, your year-end gift now is vitally important. Please take a moment to make your investment in great television for 2022.

Donate now.

Your donation may qualify for a tax credit (please consult your tax advisor). If you would like your year-end donation to Idaho Public Television to qualify for a 2021 charitable tax deduction or credit, the IRS requires that contribution to be postmarked (if mailed USPS) or date stamped/processed (if using a credit card) by 11:59 PM on December 31, 2021. PLEASE NOTE – Our offices will be closed on Friday, December 31, 2021 in observance of the New Year holiday. The last day for walk-in charitable donations (for 2021 taxes) will be Thursday, December 30, 2021.

Festive Holiday Specials Air Throughout December

December on Idaho Public Television is filled with inspirational and heartwarming holiday specials, including Christmas music from Idaho universities and The Tabernacle Choir, seasonal drama from Call the Midwife, and the only public broadcast of the beloved Peanuts gang Christmas special.

Here are some highlights of new and returning holiday programs. For a complete nightly list of specials airing on all five of our broadcast channels — including children’s specials on our PBS KIDS Channel — visit our online schedule at

A Southern Celtic Christmas Concert (Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 7 PM) celebrates the close ties between Ireland, Scotland and the American South in an engaging mix of poetry, music, song, dance and story. The concert features some of the top performers of traditional Celtic and Southern music, including Moya Brennan, known as the “First Lady of Celtic Song”; Alison Brown, a dazzling five-string banjo player; and Bill Whelan, the composer of Riverdance, in a deeply moving original choral piece based on a seventh-century Irish prayer-poem.

20 Years of Christmas With the Tabernacle Choir (Monday, Dec. 13, at 7 PM and Friday, Dec. 24, at 9 PM) features two decades of Christmas performances by more than 40 guest artists and excerpts from more than 60 songs, carols, and stories celebrating the season. With pandemic restrictions in place, guest artist Brian Stokes Mitchell returns to the Conference Center — without an audience — to narrate this retrospective of performances from Kristin Chenoweth, Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, Gladys Knight, Angela Lansbury and others.

A BYU-Idaho Christmas is an annual holiday concert that features nationally renowned singers performing with the symphony orchestra, dancers and choirs from Brigham Young University-Idaho. This year’s broadcast (Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 8 PM and Saturday, Dec. 18, at 5 PM) features highlights from past years’ performances.

Conductor John Mauceri leads the San Francisco Symphony in The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 9 PM) with actor Alan Cumming as narrator. This delightful evening brings to life E.T.A. Hoffmann’s original story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” with music from Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s tone poems, orchestral suites, and of course the score to the Nutcracker ballet. Experience this timeless holiday treat like never before — one that begins, as all great stories do, with, “Once upon a time …”

Feeling down about the commercialism of Christmas, Charlie Brown takes on the responsibility of directing the Peanuts gang’s holiday play. Can he overcome his friends’ preference for dancing over acting, find the “perfect” Christmas tree, and convince others of the true meaning of the holiday? A Charlie Brown Christmas airs Sunday, Dec. 19, at 6:30 PM.

Celebrate the holidays Idaho style with the University of Idaho Holiday Concert (Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 8 PM and Saturday, Dec. 25, at 5 PM). Relive the joy of past years’ concerts featuring middle- and high-school choral groups, bell choirs and jazz ensembles performing holiday classics together with students from the U of I’s Lionel Hampton School of Music.

Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2021 airs Saturday, Dec. 25, at 9 PM. Christmas 1966 promises to be a memorable one as Lucille and Cyril prepare for their upcoming winter wedding. The Nonnatus House team are faced with their busiest Christmas Day ever as the Maternity Home is filled with expectant moms, each with their own challenging case. Luckily Mother Mildred is on hand to support the team. Check our online schedule for previous years’ Call the Midwife Holiday Specials airing throughout December.

Explore Idaho’s Potato Culture and the History of Caxton Press During ‘DecemberFest’

Tune in Sunday, Dec. 5, beginning at 5:30 PM for DecemberFest, a single-night fundraising event featuring festive musical performances, new shows about Idaho history, and in-studio fun. Please consider supporting Idaho Public Television with your donation of any amount by calling (800) 980-4788 or donating online at Here are four captivating shows that you’ll enjoy during DecemberFest:


The 10-man a cappella group Straight No Chaser returns in Straight No Chaser – Songs of the Decades: Holiday Edition (Dec. 5 at 5:30 PM). Their performance is a journey through the decades of the pop songbook, including nods to everyone from Little Anthony and the Imperials, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, The Four Seasons and Stevie Wonder, to The Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Boyz II Men and Coldplay.

The evening is full of the group’s unique wit and charm, innovative musical mashups and clever costuming touches. For this holiday edition, the guys also add some popular Yuletide favorites, including a side-splitting arrangement of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and their trademark version of “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

Show your support for Idaho Public Television and receive tickets to see Straight No Chaser when they perform in Boise on March 10, 2022. More info.


In Idaho, raising spuds is a traditional way of life. From planting to harvest, potato farming provides not only food but jobs, friends, family, community, culture, tradition and even fun. Dubbed the “potato state,” more than half of Idaho’s counties grow potatoes, producing 13 billion pounds a year. But beyond the numbers, what matters is potato harvest at sunset and the goodwill of Idaho’s agricultural community.

Outdoor Idaho spent the past year gathering dozens of interviews and thousands of video clips in order to showcase an entire year’s worth of potato growing. We’ve seen the brute force it takes to farm spuds. It’s not easy and it’s certainly not simple. And in Idaho, potatoes are big business, which means high risk and high reward. From potato farmers to potato scientists, we’ll hear from the people whose livelihoods are dependent on spuds.

“My appreciation for agriculture has skyrocketed since I began putting this show together,” said producer Lauren Melink. “It’s incredible the number of people it takes to ensure the entire potato operation goes off without a hitch. And all the offshoot businesses that are born from potatoes, like potato soap and potato vodka, it’s a bit mind-boggling when you think about it.”

There’s pride in Idaho potatoes, and Spud Country on Outdoor Idaho (Dec. 5 at 7 PM) gets to the root of that pride — uncovering how potatoes came to Idaho and why they’re still celebrated in the streets of our towns and cities.


When J.H. Gipson joined his small family printing business in Caldwell in 1904, he was barely 20 and a junior high school dropout. Over the next six decades, Gipson would grow Caxton Printers into a successful publishing, printing and school-services company. Today, Caxton is thought to be the oldest independent publishing house west of the Rockies, and prints everything from books to ballots.

Caxton: An American Press on Idaho Experience (Dec. 5 at 8:30 PM) takes a closer look at Caxton Press, the publishing arm of the company. We see some of the unique books it’s published, and learn about the intriguing life of J.H. Gipson, who was an avid libertarian. It also follows the printing of the newest addition to Caxton’s booklist, Lucky: The Wit and Wisdom of Governor Phil Batt.

“I’ve always been fascinated with printing presses,” says producer Marcia Franklin. “And I’d read so many of Caxton’s books that I wanted to know more about that iconic company.”

The documentary also features Alessandro Meregaglia, an archivist at Boise State University who has uncovered new material about Caxton for a book he’s writing. Meregaglia shows the current publisher, Scott Gipson, letters between his great-grandfather J.H. and prominent Americans, letters Gipson had never seen before.

Today, the sixth generation of Gipsons — sisters Megan and Hannah — works at Caxton. The company has survived a fire, two world wars, the Great Depression and now a pandemic.

As Meregaglia says, “The history of Caxton printers is an Idaho story. And it’s a great story for the state, because it shows that this publisher in the middle of nowhere not only could survive, but even thrive.”


Celtic Woman: Postcards From Ireland (Dec. 5 at 9:30 PM) represents the sentiment the all-female Irish music ensemble would like to share with their fans around the world — one of love, hope and expectation as the world looks forward to getting together once again. The sentiments could be written on a postcard, but here they are expressed in the music and songs from Celtic Woman’s latest album, Postcards From Ireland, performed at visually stunning locations around the Emerald Isle.

Postcards From Ireland features 13 brand new songs and is the group’s first new studio album since 2018’s Ancient Land. It features new arrangements of beautiful and iconic songs including “The Dawning of the Day,” “Wild Mountain Thyme,” “The Galway Shawl” and “Black Is the Colour.” The album also introduces newest member Muirgen O’Mahony, and includes a performance by British folk group The Longest Johns who join Celtic Woman on a version of Richard Thompson’s “Beeswing.”

Show your support for Idaho Public Television and receive tickets to see Celtic Woman when they perform in Boise on May 24, 2022. More info.

‘Dialogue’ Returns With New Conversations From the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference

After a hiatus due to the pandemic, Conversations From the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference on Dialogue is back with six new interviews from the acclaimed event.

“I’m enthusiastic about our lineup of guests,” says Marcia Franklin, the producer and host of the series, which has been visiting the literary event since 2005. “Each brings a new view to our shared American story. I hope viewers will come away from these interviews with new insights.”

The conversations air every Friday in December at 8:30 PM, with one of the interviews airing the first Friday in January

The first three shows feature speakers from the conference who have focused on World War II. On Dec. 3, Daniel James Brown, the best-selling author of The Boys in the Boat, talks about his newest book, Facing the Mountain, which honors the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated unit of Japanese-Americans who fought in World War II despite the fact that many of their families were incarcerated in the United States simply for being of Japanese descent. 

Tom Ikeda (Dec. 10), who provided critical research for Brown’s book, discusses his Seattle-based nonprofit, Densho, which preserves the stories of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. Ikeda’s parents and grandparents were imprisoned in the Minidoka camp in Idaho.

Catherine Grace Katz (Dec. 17) talks with Franklin about The Daughters of Yalta, her first book. In it, she illuminates the contributions of Anna Roosevelt, Sarah Churchill and Kathleen Harriman to the seminal 1945 meeting of world leaders at Yalta, which included their fathers — Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Averell Harriman.

On Dec. 24, Sarah Broom unpacks her National Book Award-winning memoir, The Yellow House, which chronicles the devastating effects that decades of neglect and bureaucratic amnesia have had on her childhood neighborhood of New Orleans East. The book also pays homage to the house in which she and her 11 siblings grew up. It was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, but lives on in Broom’s prose.

Longtime New Yorker writer and author Susan Orlean (Dec. 31) rounds out the month in a lively chat with Franklin about her writing style and her work, which includes hundreds of magazine articles, The Library Book, and an upcoming memoir.

On Jan. 7, novelist Tayari Jones describes the process of writing An American Marriage, a novel that chronicles the trajectory of a marriage when one of the spouses is wrongfully imprisoned. Jones talks with Franklin about the serendipity that led to the book’s characters, as well as how her writing is informed by the experiences of her parents, who were both active in the civil rights movement. 

Major funding for Dialogue is provided by the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the James and Barbara Cimino Foundation, Friends of Idaho Public Television and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Join Our Online Discussion on Idaho’s Workforce

As part of the “American Graduate” grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Idaho Public Television produced a series of videos highlighting pathways to apprenticeship and two-year degree programs to prepare students to fill in-demand, high-paying jobs in Idaho. We were able to work closely with the Idaho Workforce Development Council and see firsthand the great job they’re doing and what their work means for the state’s workforce. We intend to continue to play a role in helping with their efforts.

In October, Governor Brad Little and Idaho business, education and policy leaders discussed the needs of Idaho’s workforce during Age of Agility: The Governor’s Summit on the Future of Work. Idaho Public Television will broadcast a half hour of highlights from this summit on Monday, Nov. 1, at 8 PM.

That same evening (Monday, Nov. 1), we will host a live online panel discussion via Zoom focusing on the same topics at 8:30/7:30 PM MT/PT. Join Idaho Business for Education President and CEO Rod Gramer and Workforce Development Council Executive Director Wendi Secrist as they explore Idaho’s workforce needs with Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett from District 26; Senator David Lent, Republican from District 33; Representative Chris Mathias, Democrat from District 19 Seat B; and Representative Paul Amador, Republican from District 4 Seat B. The legislative panel will share their thoughts on the pathways available to students, educators and business leaders to meet the demands for the 21st century skills that are needed to build our workforce into an economically robust resource.

Visit our events webpage at for more information and to sign up to participate in the panel discussion.

Season 50 of ‘Idaho Reports’ Begins Oct. 29

Idaho Public Television’s original news series Idaho Reports returns for its 50th season Friday nights at 8 PM beginning Oct. 29.

The longest-running public policy show in the West brings its viewers Idaho state government news and analysis, including updates on education, taxes and voter initiatives, as well as the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now there are more ways than ever to get the latest episodes and breaking news from the Idaho Reports team while you’re on the go. Look for Idaho Reports in audio form each Wednesday wherever you find your favorite podcasts. Idaho Reports also posts breaking news updates throughout the week at and publishes a weekly roundup newsletter each Friday (find the link to subscribe at