For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

WXXI SUPPORTS SOCIAL STUDIES EDUCATORS IN THE TEACHING OF THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR THROUGH A NATIONAL DOCUMENTARY AND
LOCAL OUTREACH EFFORTS

Rochester, New York (February 6, 2006) – In line with its educational mission, WXXI recently used the power of the PBS documentary about the French and Indian War, The War That Made America, and its own outreach efforts to provide social studies educators with tools they need to meet the New York State educational curriculum requirements concerning the war. WXXI was one of eleven public television stations across the country to sponsor outreach events and activities around the documentary. WXXI joined forces with the Rochester Area Council for Social Studies (RACSS) to host a preview screening of the documentary followed by a discussion with Robert L. Emerson, Executive Director of Old Fort Niagara and a member of the New York State French and Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemoration Commission. The workshop was well-attended with more than 70 educators who received training to use the series and materials effectively with their students. (To learn more about national outreach efforts visit: http://www.thewarthatmadeamerica.org/default.aspx?id=35)

In addition to the screening, WXXI produced four educational segments featuring Old Fort Niagara in New York State which aired statewide as part of Homework Hotline’s “New York State of Mine.” WXXI’s Homework Hotline production crew traveled to Old Fort Niagara to obtain footage and talked with Old Fort Niagara’s director, Robert L. Emerson. Homework Hotline is a half-hour television series that provides students in grades 4 through 12 with homework help. The program, which utilizes the services of Rochester Dial-A-Teacher and the New York City Dial-A-Teacher, supports New York State’s educational curricula by closely adhering to the New York State Learning Standards. The segments will be streamed as part of the station’s school video-on-demand service, Ed.Video Online.

The War That Made America, which aired on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) and on public television stations across the country in January, told the story of the French and Indian War (1754-1763), which began in the wilderness of the Pennsylvania frontier and spread throughout the colonies and into Canada. Narrated and hosted by Graham Greene, an Academy-Award nominee for Dances with Wolves and an Oneida Indian whose ancestors fought in this war.

The War That Made America was a production of WQED Multimedia, in collaboration with French and Indian War 250, in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War. Funding for the outreach was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Homework Hotline is funded in part by the New York State United Teachers.

WXXI’s Web-based Video On-Demand Service is another example of its distance learning capabilities. In collaboration with New York State’s eight other Public Television Stations and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) it launched the service to educators, students and parents free of charge. The site features more than 2,200 Instructional Television (ITV) programs and 22,000 video clips for instant videostreaming or downloading off the Web. The new service utilizes an on-line application to offer the flexibility of using instructional programming over the Internet anytime, anywhere. “WXXI looks forward to extending its increased digital capabilities and partnering more closely with the adult literacy community”, adds Marion French, WXXI Assistant Vice President of Education and Interactive Services.

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WXXI is an essential, lifelong educational resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI provides programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of the issues of our diverse community, nation and world. Log on to www.wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.

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