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October 26, 2018

Meet Ellie Janszky

As an Early Learning Specialist in the Children’s and Educational Media Department, Ellie Janszky works primarily on WNET’s early childhood projects and initiatives. “The majority of this work includes direct service and outreach in the NYC community. I plan, promote and conduct professional development trainings for early childhood educators and daycare providers, as well as workshops and events for parents, caregivers and families,” Ellie says. Read on to learn about the path that led Ellie to WNET, her favorite places on the Upper West Side, and more.

What is your background, and how did you land at WNET?

I started my career at PBS as the Assistant Director of Content for PBS LearningMedia. I spent four years with the Education team at PBS before moving to New York to pursue a Master’s Degree at Teachers College, where I also taught Pre-K. I then moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, and continued to teach before returning to New York and joining WNET!

Are there any current or upcoming projects you’re particularly excited about?

I truly love ALL of the projects I have had the opportunity to work on here at WNET. In early October, our early learning team began a series of family and community workshops in homeless shelters in Brooklyn and Queens. These are multi-generational engagement programs that are designed to activate creative and collaborative learning with PBS Kids media and resources. It’s inspiring to see directly how families engage with our content.

For our Media with Impact campaign, we’ve been asking viewers to share stories describing how THIRTEEN has influenced their life. How has THIRTEEN (or the PBS station of your childhood) inspired you?

I grew up in Virginia, where my local PBS station was WETA. My parents didn’t allow too much television watching when we were young and we didn’t have any of the cable networks. So when we did watch TV, it was always PBS, which of course set a high standard for what I now as an adult consider a quality children’s program. Some of my favorites growing up were Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Arthur, The Magic School Bus, and Lamb Chop’s Play-Along. I still love them.

Which three shows airing on our stations this month are you most likely to watch, stream, or record?

I love the The Great British Baking Show and also have Poldark and Victoria on my list to watch. I’ve also been really enjoying All Arts’ Broadway Sandwich!

Where do you live, and what are some of your favorite places in your neighborhood?

I live on the Upper West Side, which I love because it means I can walk to and from work most days. Some of my favorite UWS spots include: Book Culture, The New-York Historical Society, Jin Ramen, Osteria Cotta, Mason Pickle, Vin Sur Vingt, The Mermaid Inn, Orwashers, Pizzeria Sirenetta, and Levain Bakery. Being equidistant from both Central Park and Riverside Park is another great perk of the neighborhood.

What book are you currently reading?

Inspired by the The Great American Read, I just finished Anne of Green Gables, which I hadn’t read since I was a kid. Now I am reading The Stranger in the Woods, the true story of a hermit who lived in the woods of Maine for decades. And I keep David Sedaris’s Theft by Finding by my bedside table, which usually means I’m laughing out loud before I fall asleep at night.

Do you have a special interest or hobby outside of work? If so, tell us about it!

My husband and I like to take our dog on trails outside of the city on weekends, mostly in Westchester County. I also like to do yoga and I’m taking knitting classes at the St. Agnes Public Library (they’re free!), which I find to be quite relaxing.

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