WMC Memphis Broadcasts Home School Lessons On Subchannel

The coronavirus pandemic has forced widespread school closures in the United States and an unprecedented disruption of K-12 education. For children living in homes without broadband internet service, the lack of schooling cannot simply be replaced by online distant learning substitutes.

Gray Television’s NBC affiliate WMC Memphis (DMA 51), in partnership with Shelby County Schools, is offering its broadcast programming and accompanying digital resources to support continued at-home learning, provide greater access to educational resources.

SCS is Tennessee’s largest public school district and among the 25 largest public school districts in the United States. During the school closure, more than 113,000 students are home — many with limited access to technology or internet.

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“As more districts address the potential for long-term school closure, it is essential to find ways to address digital disparities and continue to provide learning opportunities and critical services to our students,” said Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray. “We appreciate WMC for partnering to support distance learning.”

The Mid-South news leader, WMC Action News 5, will broadcast lessons from SCS teachers on its multicast channel that carries Bounce. Bounce is broadcast over the air on ch. 5.2 and on Comcast Cable ch. 906.

“While watching Dr. Ray speak during a press conference, I was struck by how much passion he had for his students affected by closed schools due to the coronavirus. I knew we had to do something at WMC to help out,” said Jonathan Mitchell, WMC vice president and general manager. “Our team embraced the challenge of figuring out how to make this happen in a very short time, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

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Jeffrey Wolf, chief distribution officer of Katz Networks, added: “Bounce is proud to partner with WMC to be able to serve the needs of the Mid-South community and the children of Shelby County Schools during this unprecedented time.”

Beginning Thursday, March 26, the daily broadcast schedule will include SCS-produced pre-K through 12th-grade lessons, activities and resources aligned to the same standards and assignments students would normally be working on at this point in the school year. The lessons focus on English/language arts (ELA), science and math. As the lessons are archived, students and families will have unlimited access to a video library.

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