Media Room

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Announces Partnership with Texas PBS to TAKE CARE OF TEXAS

AUSTIN, TEXAS, February 12, 2024 – Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Take Care of Texas program announced a new partnership with Texas PBS as part of a statewide awareness campaign about ways Texans can protect and conserve the people, places, and natural resources in our state.

Take Care of Texas and Texas PBS are partnering to promote awareness of conservation efforts in Texas through conservation tip videos featuring Chet Garner, host of PBS’ The Daytripper, and educational units for Texas teachers available on PBS LearningMedia.

“We are excited about this partnership and the opportunity to work with our local PBS stations to let other Texans take the pledge to Take Care of Texas,” said Kierstan Schwab, Executive Director of Texas PBS. “This partnership is a great example of how Texas PBS stations use their local community reach to partner with state agencies ensuring  Texans are informed about important topics such as conservation.”

Also, as part of the partnership, educational units, including free lesson plans and student worksheets, designed for Texas teachers will be available on PBS LearningMedia starting in February. The collection covers conservation topics related to air, water, and waste.

PBS LearningMedia offers free educational resources for PreK–12 educators and students, with a focus on enhancing educator practice and promoting equitable student learning. The collection on PBS LearningMedia, developed by Texas PBS, utilizes insights and data from TCEQ researchers and science communicators to provide science-based educational resources.

Overall, the partnership seeks to engage the community in conservation efforts, leveraging various media platforms to share information, stories, and educational resources about preserving Texas’s natural beauty and resources.

Take Care of Texas is a statewide program of the TCEQ that provides helpful information on Texas’ successes in environmental protection and encourages all Texans to take the pledge to keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste. Take Care of Texas

For more information about Take Care of Texas and to take the pledge go to: takecareoftexas.org.

About Texas PBS

The mission of Texas PBS is to build a vibrant public broadcasting platform throughout Texas by cultivating financial resources for local affiliates, spearheading collaborations among stations, illuminating public issues through relevant program content and advocating for policies that support robust public media.

For more information about Texas PBS go to: www.texaspbs.org.

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Texas Wildlife: Our Future Now Streaming Across the State

AUSTIN, TEXAS, January 29, 2024 – Texas PBS stations have teamed up with H-E-B and its award-winning filmmakers to showcase five documentary films that highlight stories of dedicated Texans conserving wildlife habitat and landscapes across the state.

The 60-minute PBS program — made possible by H-E-B — examines environmental research across the Lone Star state. View the film.

The PBS version, Texas Wildlife: Our Future, brings attention to important work being done across the state by Texans to protect delicate wildlife habitats, endangered animal species, as well as showcases the wonder and splendor of the Texas outdoors. H-E-B produced the short films with Austin-based Fin & Fur Films, an Emmy award-winning team led by Ben Masters, who recently directed Deep in the Heart, which aired on Texas PBS stations last April.

“H-E-B has a deep commitment to support all Texans, and that includes helping to protect, conserve, and beautify our great state for people to enjoy now and for generations to come,” said Leslie Sweet, H-E-B Managing Director of Sustainability & Environmental Affairs. “We’re excited to support these passionate filmmakers and their mission to tell important stories that we hope will inspire people to celebrate and protect the diverse habitats, unique wildlife, and beautiful landscapes across Texas.”

Premiering on Texas PBS stations on January 31, Texas Wildlife: Our Future is a visually captivating 60-minute film. The PBS broadcast will include four film segments including Batsies, Redfish Revival, Second Chance, and Ranching with Ocelots. Following the broadcast an extended version will be available at https://texaspbs.org/texaswildlife/. The fifth film included in the streaming version looks at the creation and diversity of the Texas State Parks system, which celebrated its centennial last year.

“We are thrilled that Texans can view these important films from their living rooms and favorite devices,” said Kierstan Schwab, Executive Director of Texas PBS. “This partnership is a great example of how Texas PBS stations partner with Texas brands, nonprofits and educational entities to showcase stories of what makes our state unique.”

Educational units, including free lesson plans and student worksheets, designed for Texas teachers in grades 6-12 will be available on PBS LearningMedia starting in February. The Texas Wildlife collection covers stories of Texans researching unique Texas species and wildlife that has been endangered over the years. This collection is made possible by H-E-B building on its longstanding commitment to support Texas educators and invest in our children’s future. PBS LearningMedia offers free educational resources for PreK–12 educators and students, with a focus on enhancing educator practice and promoting equitable student learning. The collection on PBS LearningMedia, developed by Texas PBS, provides video clips and resources for teachers to use in the classroom.

The film, titled Batsies, directed by award-winning filmmaker Elizabeth Unger, was recently named Best Short Film in Conservation at the Jackson Wild Media awards, an awards ceremony that is considered the highest bar of achievement in natural history filmmaking. Batsies follows passionate Texas State University wildlife biologists as they work against the clock to find a way to save the bats, while breaking barriers of their own.

“It’s an honor to receive the Best Conservation Short award from Jackson Wild for our genre-bending film, Batsies. We believe outside-the-box storytelling can inspire a sense of awe and wonder across audiences. Our film aims to do just that, showcasing a deep love for bats beautifully,” said Elizabeth Unger, Batsies director.

The investment in this documentary series is part of H-E-B’s ongoing sustainability pledge to reduce its impact on the environment through waste diversion efforts, along with several other programs, and environmental non-profit support that helps conserve and protect our great state, now and for generations to come. Through the company’s Our Texas, Our Future commitment, H-E-B’s mission is to increase awareness and education around sustainability efforts that help preserve land, water, and air in Texas.

All Texas PBS stations broadcast the film January 31 

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Deep in the Heart Film Wins Emmy Award

Austin, TX – The stunning Texas wildlife documentary film, Deep in the Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story received an Emmy at a Houston ceremony in November 2023.  The film was broadcast on Texas PBS Stations in April 2023. Produced by Fin & Fur Films, this program explores the state’s native wildlife in breathtaking detail.

Check out the film promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4o-iP_i0nI&feature=youtu.be

Deep in the Heart is a visually stunning celebration of what makes Texas unique — its diverse landscapes and remarkable wildlife behavior that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Directed and written by Ben Masters. This film is told through the eyes of wildlife species ranging from the mysterious blind catfish to the elusive mountain lion, the story follows our ever-changing relationship with the natural world and showcases our ability to destroy, conserve, and recover wildlife and the habitat we mutually depend on.

Narrated by Matthew McConaughey and featuring state-of-the-art cinematography, this family-friendly film journeys from the highest peaks in West Texas, through our aquifers, rivers, and bays, and deep into the Gulf of Mexico. Deep in the Heart aims to conserve our remaining wild places, to show the connectivity of water and wildlife, and to recognize Texas’ conservation importance on a continental scale.

Presented by Austin PBS, which acquired the rights for all 10 Texas stations to broadcast and live stream the 90-minute film about Texas wildlife. The PBS broadcast included never-before-seen footage of the making of the film. Following the broadcast, six lesson plans designed to provide K-12 students and teachers with materials about Texas wildlife are now  available for teachers in pbslearningmedia.org

“We are so pleased to celebrate our state’s natural wonders through this partnership with Ben Masters and Fin & Fur Films,” said Kierstan Schwab, executive director of Texas PBS. “Texas is a unique place with beauty in every region and Texas PBS aims to offer our audience those unique stories.”

“We are excited to offer our film to Texas PBS stations so that more Texans can have access to the story of Texas’ wild places, and to spark dialogue about how to protect those places and wildlife species we all love,” said the film’s director Ben Masters.

About Texas PBS
The mission of Texas PBS is to build a vibrant public broadcasting platform throughout Texas by cultivating financial resources for local affiliates, spearheading collaborations among stations, illuminating public issues through relevant program content and advocating for policies that support robust public media. For more information about Texas PBS, go to www.texaspbs.org.

About Fin & Fur Productions
Based in Austin, Texas, Fin and Fur Films is comprised of professional creatives who are passionate about conservation and visual storytelling. From endangered species to complex water issues and backcountry expeditions, we are dedicated to using film as a medium to give wildlife a fighting chance and advocate for the preservation of wild places. Fin and Fur produces independent films from conception to finished product, and offers cinematography, production, and directing services. Our team members are adventure-lovin’ folks who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and have a good time, all while creating quality content.

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Basin PBS Launches Children’s Lounge at Midland International Air & Space Port,

Sponsored by Permian Resources

PERMIAN BASIN, TEXAS, Monday, March 20, 2023 – Basin PBS is proud to announce the opening of the Basin PBS Children’s Lounge at Midland International Air & Space Port, sponsored by Permian Resources, co-sponsored by Clear Channel. The lounge will provide a comfortable and safe space for families traveling through the airport with young children. The launch event will take place on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at 10:30 am, and will be attended by representatives from Basin PBS, Permian Resources and Midland International Air & Space Port.

“We are excited to provide a new resource for families traveling through the airport,” said Laura Wolf, CEO/GM of Basin PBS. “The Basin PBS Children’s Lounge is a welcoming space where children can relax and play while parents wait for their flight. We are grateful to Permian Resources for their generous support of this project, and to Fred Rogers Production and PBS KIDS for their collaboration.”

The lounge will feature comfortable seating, age-appropriate educational games, iPad station connected to PBS KIDS, a free little library and a TV showing educational programming from PBS KIDS. All with a theme that will be familiar to PBS KIDS families.

“We are proud to support Basin PBS in creating this valuable resource for families in our community,” said James Walter, Co-CEO of Permian Resources. “At Permian Resources, we believe in investing in the well-being of our community, and we are thrilled to be a part of this important project.”

The launch event will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, as well as remarks from representatives of Basin PBS and Permian Resources. Press is welcome to attend and should arrive at 10:20 am and make their way to the 3rd floor offices to be escorted to the ribbon cutting.

“We are delighted to partner with Basin PBS and Permian Resources to bring this important resource to Midland International Air & Space Port,” said Justine Ruff, Director of Airports for the City of Midland. “The Basin PBS Children’s Lounge is a great addition to our airport, and we are grateful for the support of our community partners.”

The Basin PBS Children’s Lounge is free and open to the public during regular airport hours. It is located across from the Southwest gates.

About Basin PBS
Basin PBS is a community owned and operated 501(c)(3) non-profit service to the Permian Basin. Donations to Basin PBS are tax deductible and help promote life-long learning through local public television educational programs like ONE QUESTION and MAIN STREET UNPLUGGED and through outreach services to West Texas children and adults. Basin PBS is the only local source for trusted PBS programs such as MAS­TERPIECE, NOVA, CURIOUS GEORGE, GREAT PERFORMANCES, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, FRONTLINE and more. www.basinpbs.org    https://www.facebook.com/BasinPBS  

For more information, Alyson Trevino atrevino@basinpbs.org.

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NEW PBS KIDS SERIES FOR PRESCHOOLERS FEATURES TEXAS FAMILY

Rosies RulesAustin, TX – Texas PBS stations are excited to announce the premiere of ROSIE’S RULES, a new 2D animated comedy series which begins October 3. This new series from 9 Story Media Group and its award-winning studio, Brown Bag films, is designed for preschoolers (ages 3-6). It stars 5-year-old Rosie Fuentes, a Mexican-American girl from San Antonio who is just beginning to learn about the fascinating, baffling, thrilling world beyond her family walls.

“It’s so important for children to see themselves in the characters they watch,” said Kierstan Schwab, Executive Director of Texas PBS. “Texas PBS stations are so excited about the opportunity for Texas kids to see themselves represented in PBS Kids.”

The show aims to teach children concrete social studies lessons about how a community works, helping them develop their awareness of themselves as individuals and as part of a broader society. ROSIE’S RULES is slated to debut nationwide on PBS KIDS on October 3, 2022.
Rosies Rules2Like many children across the country, Rosie is part of a blended, multicultural family. Rosie is Mexican-American; her Papá is from Mexico City and her mother from rural Wisconsin. She has a little brother, Iggy, and an older sister, Crystal, who is Mom’s child from her first marriage. The Fuentes family lives together in suburban Texas with their cat (and Rosie’s partner-in-crime), Gatita.

“Preschool is that amazing stage when children start noticing the mechanisms of how a community operates, and naturally, they have a lot of questions,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Rosie is right there with them, figuring things out one ‘rule’ at a time through humor and play.”

Bilingual in English and Spanish, Rosie’s multicultural identity is a big part of who she is, and Mexican, Southwestern, and Midwestern art, traditions, food, and music figure prominently in the series. Music is part of every episode, as Rosie sings a song to begin each story and ends with a celebration tune summarizing what she’s learned.

ROSIE’S RULES features a comprehensive social studies framework that encompasses civics and government, geography, economics, and history via engaging, character-based narratives to help children achieve the social studies proficiencies that are important for preschoolers.

Each story builds on a preschooler’s budding understanding of a concept (how the mail works, transportation, family relationships) and extends the learning from there. As Rosie figures things

out, the answers – along with other astute discoveries – become Rosie’s Rules. These “rules” range from the silly (“Don’t try to mail your cat to Mexico.”), to the sweet (“There’s nothing better than making your Abuela happy.”) to the practical (“Sometimes, flopping helps you get your feelings out.”). They will also punctuate what Rosie’s learned in the episode, bridging the curriculum takeaway and the heart of each story.  ­

“We are so excited for kids to meet Rosie,” said Angela Santomero, Chief Creative Officer for 9 Story Media Group. “Like many preschoolers, Rosie is just beginning to learn about the world around her. Our hope is that kids will see themselves in the Fuentes family and fall in love with Rosie’s curiosity, determination, creative thinking and humor!”

ROSIE’S RULES was created by Emmy Award-winning writer and children’s book author, Jennifer Hamburg, a veteran of the children’s television industry whose credits include Daniel Tiger’s NeighborhoodSuper Why!, Pinkalicious & Peterrific,Cyberchase, and Doc McStuffins.

Executive Producing with Jennifer is TV veteran, Mariana Diaz-Wionczek, PhD, who brings a wealth of children’s TV experience (Dora the ExplorerGo Diego Go!, Santiago of the Seas), and cultural, educational, and linguistic expertise, along with her own life experience growing up in Mexico City. Maria Escobedo (Grey’s AnatomyElena of Avalor and Nina’s World) is on board as Story Editor.

ROSIE’S RULES games will launch in tandem with the series on pbskids.org and the free PBS KIDS Games App. To extend the learning at home, parent resources, including tips and hands-on activities, will be available on PBS KIDS for Parents. For educators, PBS LearningMedia will offer classroom-ready materials, including video excerpts, games, teaching tips and printable activities.

About PBS KIDS 
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers children ages 2-8 the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital media and community-based programs. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn, including their teachers, parents and community. Provided by stations, the free PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream is available to more than 95% of U.S. TV households. Kidscreen- and Webby Award-winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning, including the PBS KIDS Video app, which is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung TV and Chromecast. PBS KIDS also offers parent and teacher resources to support children’s learning anytime and anywhere. For more information on PBS KIDS content and initiatives supporting school readiness and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

About 9 Story Media Group
9 Story Media Group is a leading creator, producer and distributor of kids and family focused intellectual property. Its award-winning animation studio, Brown Bag Films, is recognized around the world for best-in-class brands such as Doc McStuffins, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Octonauts, Wild Kratts, Blue’s Clues and You and The Magic School Bus: Rides Again. The company’s international distribution arm, 9 Story Distribution International based in Dublin, represents 4,400 half-hours of animated and live-action programming, seen on some of the most respected international channels and platforms. Its in-house consumer products division, 9 Story Brands, builds international entertainment brands for kids, with expertise across creative, brand marketing, and licensing. 9 Story’s Creative Affairs Group creates, develops and produces award-winning branded properties using groundbreaking formative research. With facilities in Toronto, Dublin, New York and Bali, 9 Story Media Group employs 1000 creative and corporate staff. www.9story.com

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