January 26, 2017
WNET Partnership with DHS & PATH Intake Center Flourishes
WNET’s Education Department paid another visit to the PATH (Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing) Intake Center in the Bronx on Tuesday, January 24.
Education Producers Akriti Macker and Norah Jones provided training to seven new staff members who will be managing the Child Wait Space/Early Learning Center. The workshop focused on ways staff can use favorite PBS KIDS characters to connect with children and effectively use media to inspire educational activities at the center. WNET also provided resources to help staff to engage with families and continue learning at home through PBS KIDS and PBS Parents activities. Together, the group brainstormed ways to use resources like New York Parenting Minutes and PBS LearningMedia for family engagement and educational fun.
One educator working at the center shared how children who come into the Wait Space feeling anxious or lonely are able to connect with other children through their mutual love of PBS characters. Another expressed how helpful Thomas the Tank Engine has been for her work with children on the autism spectrum, and voiced her excitement when she learned about WNET’s Thomas and Friends Autism Educator resources.
The PATH Intake Center serves all New York City families with children who are experiencing an immediate housing crisis and are seeking to enter the homeless system. Our ongoing partnership with members of the DHS Public-Private Partnership Team and the PATH Intake Center started with the opening of the Early Learning Center over the summer, with WNET providing televisions, educational material and digital resources. Because of the many stages in assessing a family’s need for housing, families are at PATH for eight hours on average per visit and many families must make multiple trips. The room is largely frequented by children aged 5-12 and serves as a relaxing and enjoyable educational respite for them. Since its launch in June, the Early Learning Center has served over 900 children from more than 600 families. There are least two Child Care Counselors at all times providing emotional support and educational opportunities to the children.