PBS Wisconsin Education Team Receives Bobbi English Champion for Children Award
Honor includes $5,000 for station’s continued early learning efforts
September 12, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, MI (September 12, 2023) – The PBS Wisconsin Education Team, led by Alyssa Tsagong and Jon Miskowski, has been named the winner of the 2023 Bobbi English Champion for Children Award from Sesame Workshop, PBS KIDS, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The award, announced today at the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) Conference in Grand Rapids, MI, includes $5,000 from Sesame Workshop to PBS Wisconsin to be used to support early childhood work that benefits children across the state.
The award recognizes PBS Wisconsin’s work on behalf of early learners and their families, educators, and refugees, which has elevated the station’s role as a highly respected early learning leader in the state. In just a few short years, the team has leveraged statewide partnerships to support learning needs of immigrant families with young children through Ready To Learn grant-funded learning experiences. Their efforts have also attracted significant major donor funding.
“PBS Wisconsin is honored to receive the Bobbi English Champion for Children Award, which is especially meaningful because Bobbi was born in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the home of PBS Wisconsin,” said Jon Miskowski, director of television at PBS Wisconsin. “Wisconsin has been a leader in public media education since ‘School of the Air’ premiered in 1931, and Ready To Learn is reinventing our work and reinventing how we work.”
The Bobbi English Champion for Children Award was created to annually recognize individuals who have demonstrated a dedication to the enrichment and engagement of children in their local community. The award is named for Bobbi English, Sesame Workshop Vice President, North American Television. It was awarded to Bobbi posthumously in 2020 to honor her dedication to early childhood programming and community outreach, and her passion for the power of public television. Subsequent winners are Cindy Putman of Central Tennessee PBS, and Cathy Cook and Gina Masciola of WQED Pittsburgh.
“Bobbi English was committed to improving the lives of young children through the use of engaging educational content on public television,” said Jenna Fishner, Sesame Workshop senior manager, content distribution and partnerships. “The PBS Wisconsin Education Team exemplifies the continuation of this important work, helping children reach their highest potential. A hearty congratulations to all.”
Fishner served as a judge on the award committee along with Sharon Philippart, vice president of initiatives and creative production at PBS KIDS, and Michael Fragale, vice president and general manager of education at CPB.
Led by Jon Miskowski and Alyssa Tsagong, chief curiosity officer, the PBS Wisconsin Education team includes: Marci Glaus, manager of education communications; Jen Kobylecky, associate director of education engagement; Mouna Algahaithi and Jami Hoekstra Collins, early learning education engagement specialists; Jess Hankey, education engagement coordinator; Michael Hartwell and Nick Ostrem, grades 3-12 education engagement specialists; Tawny Morrison, education communications specialist; Megan Monday, education director; Mia Forslund, coordinating producer; David Boffa, Ian Glodich and Ryan Hendricks, education producers; Jennica Li, Ready To Learn project assistant; and John Vieth, web developer.
PBS Wisconsin is a training sponsor organization for the Wisconsin Registry, aligning 23 free PBS KIDS and Sesame Workshop self-paced courses with professional development requirements for early childhood care providers in the state. The team led efforts with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to provide an extra warm welcome to refugee children in the form of backpacks with educational, enrichment and comfort items. Volunteers stuffed 1,000 backpacks and delivered them to six Wisconsin resettlement agencies. PBS Wisconsin Education also partnered with the World Relief Fox Valley resettlement agency to lead a media mentorship program with an Afghan moms’ group and included parent- and child-facing resources from Sesame Workshop supporting Dari-speaking families.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the global impact nonprofit behind Sesame Street and so much more. For over 50 years, we have worked at the intersection of education, media, and research, creating joyful experiences that enrich minds and expand hearts, all in service of empowering each generation to build a better world. Our beloved characters, iconic shows, outreach in communities, and more bring playful early learning to families in more than 150 countries and advance our mission to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Learn more at www.sesameworkshop.org and follow Sesame Workshop on Instagram, Twitter Facebook, and TikTok.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for other updates.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through media and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can stream PBS KIDS for free anytime, no subscription required. A large collection of mobile apps and pbskids.org provide accessible content that spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers and caregivers, parents, and community – providing resources accessible anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.