Independent Lens: The Homestretch

The Homestretch follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and create a new life. Each of these smart, ambitious youths — Roque, Kasey, and Anthony — will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their educations while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age. While told through a personal perspective, their stories connect with larger issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights. With unprecedented access into Chicago public schools, The Night Ministry “Crib” emergency youth shelter, and Teen Living Programs’ Belfort House, The Homestretchfollows these kids as they move through the milestones of high school while navigating a landscape of couch hopping, emergency shelters, transitional homes, street families, and a school system on the front lines of the homelessness crisis. The Homestretch examines the struggles these young people face in obtaining a high school level education, and then follows them beyond graduation to focus on the crucial transition when the structure of school vanishes, and homeless youth often struggle to find the support and community they need to survive and be independent.

From PBS Digital Studios: A 2015 Holiday Playlist

Happy holidays to all from our friends at PBS Digital Studios! Thanks to them, you can sit back and enjoy a playlist of holiday-centric videos from your favorite PBSDS shows, like PBS Idea Channel and Bon Appétempt. What do Santa and wrestling have in common? Want to (at least try to) make peppermint marshmallows? Curious about the sex lives of Christmas trees?

Testing, Opting-Out and Parental Engagement

The Connect New York series explores statewide issues of critical importance with monthly, one-hour panel discussions about education issues including: Common Core standards, teacher evaluation, school financing, achievement gaps, testing and opting out, and legal challenges. This episode focuses on testing, opting out and parental engagement in New York's schools. We visit a school in the Elmira Heights School District and speak with its superintendent as well as teachers and parents. The program will focus on the response by the families of 240,000 New York students who opted out of the state administered exams in 2015 and the recently announced changes by the state and federal education departments. Susan Arbetter, host of “The Capitol Pressroom” serves as show host, and moderates a panel conversation with NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.

'Time Scanners' journey to Jerusalem

Time Scanners, Jerusalem airs on WSKG TV December 23rd at 10pm. In this  episode of  Time Scanners,  the team sets out to explore the epic building legacy of Jerusalem. From the vast walls of the Temple Mount, to the incredible man-made mountain of Herodium, they plan to use cutting edge 21st century technology to analyze constructions made at the time of Christ. Given unique access to scan the iconic Wailing Wall, and travelling deep into the dangerous West Bank, the team treks across Jerusalem and beyond on the trail of King Herod’s remarkable building ambitions, discovering new revelations about just how good his ancient builders were and answering long held mysteries about Herod’s magnificent structures.

Building the Great Cathedrals

NOVA Building the Great Cathedrals airs on WSKG TV December 23rd at 9pm. Take a dazzling architectural journey inside those majestic marvels of Gothic architecture, the great cathedrals of Chartres, Beauvais and other European cities. Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, some cathedrals now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, a team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues. NOVA investigates the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their towering, glass-filled walls and reveals the hidden formulas drawn from the Bible that drove medieval builders ever upward.

Preview 'Call the Midwife: Holiday Special'

Join the revels as Poplar readies itself for Christmas 1960. An unexpected surprise for a grieving mother brings the holiday magic home, while Nonnatus is rocked when one of its own disappears. A film crew promises to make this a memorable Christmas. Watch Call the Midwife: Holiday Special on December 25 at 9 pm on WSKG-TV. Photo Credit: Courtesy of © Neal Street Productions 2015/ Nicky Johnson

Watch for Endicott native Matthew Beach on Great Performances on New Year's Day

WSKG TV is airing Great Performances: From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2016 on January 1 at 7:30 pm.  As part of the program, the Vienna Boys Choir will be performing two of the selections.  Endicott native Matthew Beach is currently singing with the Vienna Boys Choir.  They were just back from a performance tour around German and Switzerland when he was able to chat with us via Skype from the school in Vienna.  He tells about how he became a chorister, what it's like living in a palace in a park on an island in the Danube River, and how busy their academic and musical schedules keep them. http://wskg.org/audio/matthewbeach.mp3

 

Photo courtesy Tami Beach