CPBN’s Learning Lab
CPBN’s Learning Lab – Embeds Students in Corporate Culture to Teach Real-Life Journalism and Media Skills
– Scheduled to Open August 2013, Construction Starting This Fall –
HARTFORD, Conn. (October 5, 2012) – The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN) has been Connecticut’s largest classroom for 50 years, bringing high-quality programs to thousands of people every day. Now CPBN is strengthening its mission to serve, educate and enlighten by creating a state-of-the-art teaching facility right inside its own building.
Beginning in the fall of 2013, the Learning Lab – 20,000 square feet of classroom and studio space housed on two floors of CPBN’s Asylum Hill facility – will engage 100 high school seniors each year in the opportunity to learn about, experience and practice broadcast journalism under the guidance of CPBN career professionals. Through an agreement with the Hartford Public Schools, the entire Journalism & Media Academy (JMA) senior class will spend a year at the Learning Lab developing their capstone and media portfolios that will enable them to strengthen their understanding of academic subjects while developing critical career and life skills.
“No other public broadcasting institution in the country is taking a third of its facility and building a school there,” stated Jerry Franklin, President & CEO of CPBN. “It’s a trailblazing educational project, and we couldn’t be more proud to partner with Hartford Public Schools on it.”
This versatile space is being designed by lead Architect Robert Roach, Friar Associates in Farmington, Conn. “This learning center will include classrooms, an auditorium, production studios, editing suites, a screening room, state-of-the-art audio and mixing studios and a media gallery to support the variety of needs of the community” stated Robert Roach. The program will provide learners of all ages with unparalleled learning opportunities that will enable them to succeed as college graduates and as media literate and informed citizens.
In addition to the space serving JMA high school seniors during the school day, the Learning Lab also plans to provide relevant workforce development programs for adults, with an initial focus on U.S. veterans. Returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan combat zones face unprecedented challenges as they try to reintegrate into civilian society. The unemployment rate for veterans is higher than the national average. In addition to the tremendous stress of re-entering society in general, veterans are in need of programs to help them translate military skills into civilian jobs.
To address this issue, CPBN’s Learning Lab is developing a new initiative that will employ best practices in adult education to help veterans “bridge” their technical military backgrounds to new skills in digital media applications. The program will also include real-world learning experiences to help them explore potential careers and secure future employment.
The Learning Lab also will build on the success of several current pilot education programs to serve 200 at-risk youth each year through afterschool and summer programs, with additional individuals throughout the state served through mobile learning initiatives. Plus, the Learning Lab will serve as a welcoming public venue in Hartford for discussions, artistic performances and other activities that foster community building and civic engagement.
With the renovation of the two floors of the building being handled by KBE Building Corporation the Learning Lab is scheduled to begin construction in the fall of 2012 and be completed in the late spring of 2013.
To date, CPBN has raised $1.8 million from foundations, corporations and private gifts toward a total goal of $3.5 million and the statewide network continues to seek the support of financial partners. To learn more about funding opportunities connected to the Learning Lab, contact Donna Sodipo, Director of Educational Services at 860-275-7337 or [email protected].
About Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network
The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CBPN) includes CPTV and WNPR. CPTV, a media service of CPBN, is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including original documentaries, public affairs shows and educational programming. CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and
Thomas & Friends™ to public television. The station offers 11.5 hours of positive, nurturing
children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. The CBPN also
includes WNPR, an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNPR serves 260,000 listeners weekly in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island with news and information. Its award-winning local programming includes The Faith Middleton Show, The Colin McEnroe Show and Where We Live. CPBN also includes two affiliate channels: CPTV4U, a 24/7 television channel featuring award-winning drama, news and talk programming, concert performances, independent films, nature shows, British comedy and more; and CPTV Sports, Connecticut’s only 24-hour local sports network, covering statewide high school, college, semi-professional and professional sports. For more information, visit cpbn.org.