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

WXXI’S ASSIGNMENT: THE WORLD LAUNCHES ITS 50TH SEASON IN SEPTEMBER, SERVING A THIRD GENERATION OF LEARNERS

Rochester, New York (September 4, 2008) Assignment: the World, produced by WXXI Public Broadcasting in conjunction with The Associated Press, returns to the classroom for its 50th season in September. Designed for 4th-8th graders, Assignment: the World (ATW) brings the top news stories from around the globe into classrooms each week. Host Teej Jenkins guides students through complex issues in a safe environment. ATW airs on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) on Thursdays and Fridays at 6 a.m., beginning September 11th and on more than 90 public television stations across the country.

The ATW producers have many surprises planned for the 50th anniversary that will be revealed throughout the season including special guests, segments looking back 50 years ago and other memorable features. In addition, ATW will invite its young viewers to cast their votes for the next President of the United States. Since 1976, ATW fans have predicted the outcomes of all seven Presidential elections.

In 1958 a Social Studies teacher in Rochester, New York had an idea, and approached the Rochester Area Educational Television Agency (RAETA), which would later become WXXI. The teacher cited a need for current events programming specifically targeted for classroom use. The RAETA producers agreed to take on the project, and 50 years later teachers and students continue to benefit from the program. This year, ATW is set to serve a third generation of learners.

In addition to its news reports on current events, ATW hosts a variety ofinteractive components that challenge students to respond to “Clues in the News” and to practice map skills, using longitude and latitude coordinates onscreen to locate news hot spots on globes and maps in class. The program length is 15 minutes, designed to fit into the structure of a classroom period.Teachers receive scripts each week and students communicate with the producers via email.

All ATW programs are archived for the year at <www.atwonline.org>, offering segments for streaming and full-length programs for downloading. Both are viewable in Windows Media format. For information about logins and passwords, teachers should contact the education department at their local PBS stations. For licensing information, contact Joann Flick at AIT, jflick@ait.net or 800 457-4509 ext. 206.

The series has received numerous awards including a 2006 Telly, 2005 Gold Aurora and a 2000 Wilbur Schramm Award of Excellence.

###
WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.

Press Release Index