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CPS Announces Partnerships with Local Television Stations to Provide Supplemental Educational Enrichment Programming

04 May 2020

Partnerships with WLS, Univision/UniMás, WCIU, and WTTW, with the support of the Children First Fund, will Expand Access to Educational Enrichment Resources to Students Across Chicago

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

Monday, May 4, 2020

CHICAGO - Chicago Public Schools today announced partnerships with WLS, Univision/UniMás, WCIU and WTTW to provide supplemental educational programming to increase the accessibility of enrichment resources for students. Through these partnerships, digital content from CPS’ Curriculum Equity Initiative content library in subjects such as math, science, and language arts will air on WLS, Univision/UniMás, and WCIU’s digital subchannels. Additionally, Chicago’s local PBS affiliate WTTW – which is nationally known for its educational programming – has reorganized its digital subchannel to focus on educational content geared toward students in middle grades. This initiative was made possible by generous philanthropic support for the Children First Fund (CFF) Compassion Fund.

“During this unprecedented crisis, it’s critically important to provide enrichment resources through as many platforms as possible, and we are excited to launch these partnerships to increase the learning resources available to our students,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “I want to thank our local television partners for bringing additional enrichment resources into the homes of our students across Chicago.”

These partnerships will provide additional platforms for students to access content to supplement their remote learning plans for the duration of the closure. Programming on WLS, Univision/Unimás and WCIU will feature digital content from the district’s Curriculum Equity Initiative – which is the district’s initiative to ensure every student in every school has access to a high-quality curriculum.

“While nothing can replace time spent in the classroom with dedicated educators, televised enrichment activities can help students supplement their remote learning plans by providing refreshers on key academic skills,” said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade.

Content will be provided across multiple grades and subjects and will include math, science, English/language arts, social studies, and world languages, with social and emotional learning embedded throughout. All four stations are all available via free, open air antenna and cable and reach a market of more than 3.2 million homes in the Chicagoland area.

The district will post the program schedule online at additional details about the individual partnerships, including launch dates and programming times, can be found below:


CHANNEL: Channel 7.2
START DATE: Wednesday, May 6
AIR TIMES: 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Monday - Friday


Time Wednesday 5/6 Thursday 5/7 Friday 5/8
12:00 - 1:00 pm Science/3-5 ELA/3-5 Social Science/3-5
1:00 - 2:00 pm Science/6-8 ELA/6-8 Social Science/6-8
2:00 - 3:00 pm Science/High School ELA/High School Social Science/High School

“We know that students and their parents need a little extra help now that schools are closed and we at ABC 7 Chicago, in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, are proud to do our part. We’re also proud of all our Chicago Public School students and hope that the supplemental programming on ABC 7.2 will offer the support they need to continue to learn and be successful." - John Idler, ABC 7 Chicago President & General Manager.


CHANNEL: Channel 60.1
START DATE: Week of May 11
AIR TIMES: 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m., Monday - Friday
PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE: The programming schedule will be available online at prior to the start of programming.

“Partnering with Chicago Public Schools to air daily supplemental educational programming, in Spanish, helps us fulfill our core mission to entertain, inform and empower Hispanics in Chicago. We are very proud to bring this critical content into Chicago’s Spanish speaking homes so that students can explore a variety of content areas. From brushing up on their algebra skills, to refreshers on science and key language arts skills and practicing mindfulness with social and emotional exercises - programming will support learning across multiple grade bands and topics.” - Doug Levy, Univision Chicago President & General Manager.


CHANNEL: Channel 26.2 and Channel 48.1
START DATE: Week of May 11
AIR TIMES: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Monday - Friday
PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE: The programming schedule will be available online at prior to the start of programming.

“Weigel Broadcasting Co. was built on a cornerstone of public service. We are a local family-owned company with a long history of working with community partners like the Chicago Public Schools. We are pleased to now have another opportunity to support and serve Chicago students by adding educational programming from CPS on The U,” said Steve Farber, Senior Vice President of Operations, Weigel Broadcasting Co. “This programming is easily accessible to the whole community and a perfect fit for our station.”


CHANNEL: Channel 11.2
DESCRIPTION: PBS is nationally known for the quality of its educational programming and Chicago’s local PBS station, WTTW, has reorganized the content on its sub-channel to focus on students in middle grades. CPS encourages students, teachers and parents to leverage programming on Channel 11.2 as a supplemental educational resource and utilize the PBS online platform PBS LearningMedia, which provides teachers and students with access to a suite of free supplemental resources.

“As a public media organization, it’s our role to respond to the needs of our community with trusted, essential, and educational content,” said Sandra Cordova Micek, President and CEO of WTTW. “Our purpose at WTTW is to enrich lives, engage communities, and inspire exploration and, in partnership with CPS, we can help fill educational gaps during this time with high quality, immersive, and educational programming for at-home students to learn and explore history, the world, our society, and our culture.”

Support from Children First Fund (CFF)

The Children First Fund (CFF) and its community of donors generously funded this initiative, along with WCIU providing free air time and WLS and Univision/UniMás offering dramatically reduced air time fees. In response to COVID-19, the Children First Fund has mobilized the Compassion Fund to support students and families most impacted by school closures. This includes support for meal distribution, remote learning, emergency relief for families facing extenuating circumstances, educational resources, and more. For more information on how to support Chicago Public Schools’ students and families during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit the Children First Fund website at

Chicago Public Schools serves 355,000 students in 642 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.