Friday, July 18, 2008

From 'cool aunt' to education advocate!

I never had a calling to be a mother, though I’m incredibly fond of kids. Sure, I’m a cool aunt and feel pretty hip dancing with my niece Eliza to songs from “High School Musical.” Oh wait, does that make me cool or just a middle-aged geek trying to hang onto my youth? Anyway, trust me, I’m still cool.

While I can “bust a move” to a predictably catchy teen song, I was never really immersed in kids’ TV shows, activities or their education until I started working at MPT. Since landing in MPT’s Education Department a few years ago, I have helped create and market a variety of products and resources for kids, families, teachers and child caregivers. I have bridged the gap from mere mortal/semi-cool aunt to an advocate for quality educational resources for our communities.

When you think about MPT, you probably think about the shows. Perhaps you catch Antiques Roadshow from time to time, or you’re a longtime fan of Outdoors Maryland. You may even think we are just "that Sesame Street station for kids," but we’re more—a lot more. In MPT’s Education Department, we develop and promote an extensive range of free, multimedia resources and interactive education tools for the K-12 education community., MPT’s instant gateway to these resources, serves as a valuable link between educators, families and students. A journey through Thinkport will take you places you’ve never gone before, transforming ordinary learning into extraordinary learning. Comprehensive lesson plans, video clips and refreshing online field trips invigorate learning and help connect students and teachers to quality content. If you have children, teach or care for other people’s kids—or are perhaps just a loving aunt—you might want to check out Thinkport.

The department also provides early childhood education services to licensed and non-licensed child caregivers through interactive workshops and outreach, and online professional development opportunities for teachers and caregivers.

There’s always something exciting on the horizon, including several new interactive projects. The Lure of the Labyrinth, an online digital math game, helps build the pre-algebraic skills of middle school students. An engaging storyline woven throughout the game guides students through an underworld maze of mythical monsters and stimulating game play to solve math puzzles. Look for the Labyrinth online early next year.

Another interactive project in development, the PORT, will transport high school technology students to the Port of Baltimore to explore key careers, investigate various technology systems and navigate inter-modal transportation services at Baltimore’s very own seaport.

A steady stream of new projects, grants and partnerships enable our Education Department to offer these resources to the public year and after year. By partnering with community organizations, universities, schools, the Maryland State Department of Education and other established agencies, MPT continues its strong tradition of education.

So, as you can see, we are much more than TV. Sure, I’ve met a few stars along the way and frolicked with a cast of furry friends when the award-winning puppets from Between the Lions roared into Baltimore earlier this year. But it’s way more than TV. We hope to inspire, educate and enlighten families, schools and communities for years to come. And as I creep up the ladder in age, I can sit back and enjoy being a kid again, especially at work.

So give it a whirl, hop online and take a look, you’ll be surprised and inspired. You can access these great resources and learn more about what we do by visiting

Leslie Adler
Marketing Manager, Education Projects


Anonymous said...

well written Red! You are definitely cool and so is MPT!

Anonymous said...

A wonderful communication about a wonderful station. Especially in strained economic times, this resource is a gift to anyone who wants to enrich his/her/the kids' lives - at no cost, and with so little extra effort.

Kudos to MPT, and to "Cool Aunt," whose enthusiasm and breezy style invite joyous participation! xx from a Mom, Gram, and teacher.

Leslie said...

Hey thanks for the encouraging words. It's nice to do something you love for a living, and occassionally make people smile! I'll keep on keeping on as they say.