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


Rochester, NY (March 10, 2011) – When the nation's longest-running classroom program, Assignment: The World (ATW), launched its 52nd season last September, it introduced a new feature to its 15-minute news program. The feature, called Classroom Viewpoints, was designed to encourage students to express their opinions on global issues and current events through recorded video responses. Video responses from nine classrooms across the country were chosen, and are now featured on ATW’s web site,, and will be used in the national broadcasts this spring.

Produced by WXXI in conjunction with The Associated Press and hosted by Teej Jenkins, ATW delivers news and current events in a safe environment for students in grades 3-8. The fast-paced, interactive program helps young viewers understand the world around them, and shows how events in other countries can and do impact their lives. News stories are supported by video obtained through traditional news services. “Instant Pop Quizzes,” “Clues in the News,” and “Issue Questions” offer interactive opportunities for students to test their comprehension, improve their research skills, and practice writing exercises. Thirty-two episodes are produced each season and students across the country watch them in their classrooms via broadcast, or over the Internet through on-demand streaming and download. In Rochester, ATW airs Thursdays and Fridays at 6 a.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable1011 and 11), and on Fridays at 6 p.m. on City 12 throughout the school year.

Classroom Viewpoints supports ATW’s “Issue Question” segment by including student-generated video content and increasing viewer engagement. Each classroom is responsible for recording their video response on three “Issue Questions” during the 2010-2011 ATW season. The nine educators and accompanying classrooms selected are:

  • Catherine Minges, Middle School Literacy Specialist, Warsaw Central School, Warsaw, NY
  • Katie Staacke, 7th Grade Social Studies, Glen Hills Middle School, Glendale, WI
  • Gail Kenkel, K-5 Enrichment Specialist, Bloomer Elementary School, Council Bluffs, IA
  • Florence Plagenz, 4th-7th Grade Afterschool Program Coordinator, Wedgewood Afterschool Communities, Columbus, OH
  • Kristin Mandruleanu & Tanya Parrott, 5th Grade Writing Project Coordinators, Yorkshire Elementary School, Manassas, VA
  • Cindy Rubenstein, 3rd Grade Enrichment Specialist, Brooks Hill Elementary School, Fairport, NY
  • Noel Henrich, 6th Grade Social Studies, Sergeant Bluff-Luton Middle School, Sergeant Bluff, IA
  • Joelle Astrup, 5th Grade, Hillcrest Elementary School, Chippewa Falls, WI
  • Brett Sandy, 7th Grade Global Studies, McCombs Middle School,  Des Moines, IA

To see the Classroom Viewpoint student-generated videos, and learn more about the ATW series, visit

ATW has received numerous awards including a Telly, Gold Aurora and a Wilbur Schramm Award of Excellence. The seriesis underwritten by Post Pebbles Cereal.

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 for more information about our services and programs.

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