Mayra Pellot, or “Mama Titi” as she is affectionately known around her Bronx neighborhood, will never forget one of her first early experiences with PBS. When she was in nursery school, the young Mama Titi attended a community event hosted by her local PBS station, Channel Thirteen. The performers at the event were from the Taíno tribe. As her family is a member of this tribe, seeing her native culture represented in her local community was a special moment for five-year old Mayra, “that was it for me. I’ll never forget it,” she says.
PBS continued to be an important part of Mayra’s life, especially as she overcame significant challenges. As a little girl with developmental stuttering and dyslexia, PBS programming helped her come out of her shell and gain confidence. Later, PBS was a comfort through the long stays in the hospital after a cancer diagnosis. As Mayra puts it, “PBS is my go-to for everything. You always find something on Channel Thirteen.”
Although Mama Titi does not have any biological grandchildren, she cares for many children in her neighborhood as her own. She firmly believes that it takes a village to raise a child. Mama Titi has lived in the same building for almost 40 years, and often helps her neighbors and parents with childcare and beyond. In fact, she can’t even count how many children in the community refer to her as “mom” and “grandma.” Mama Titi’s love spans generations – she took care of the parents of the children that are currently in her care!
Today, Mama Titi still enjoys everything that PBS has to offer both on TV and in the community. She and her grandchildren watch Channel Thirteen at home together, and she recently attended the Vámonos Ciencia Family and Community Learning workshops at her grandchild Ovel’s Head Start center in the Bronx. At the Play and Learn Science sessions, Mama Titi and Ovel (as well as some of her other older grandchildren) learned STEM-related skills through fun activities such as building ramps and shadow play.
Mama Titi, who is an active participant in her grandchildren’s learning, appreciated the workshops because they reinforced the values she teaches already at home including confidence-building and the importance of sharing. She shared that she loves seeing Ovel come home from the workshops and teach the rest of his family about what he learned. One day, during a storm, he identified that hail was coming down from the sky, which brought real world context to the Play and Learn science curriculum.
Looking for more science resources to share with a young child that you care about? Find them all here.
The contents of this document were developed under a cooperative agreement #PRU295A150003, from the U.S. Department of Education. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.