Merrillville – Lakeshore Public Media is partnering with local producers and funders to bring two local documentaries to its streaming platform for students and educators across the region.
“Our goal for providing this programming is simple: to keep students and viewers of all ages engaged in learning,” said James A. Muhammad, President and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media. “Through the support of these filmmakers and our local sponsors, we are able to present these documentaries as great examples of the power of public media to educate, enlighten and inform.”
Everglades of the North: The Story of the Grand Kankakee Marsh and Shifting Sands: On the Path to Sustainability are now available to stream at LakeshorePBS.org/watch, with support from the Legacy Foundation, the National Parks Conservation Association and NIPSCO.
Everglades of the North: The Story of the Grand Kankakee Marsh tells the controversial saga of the Grand Kankakee Marsh, once one of the largest wetlands in the country. Now less than 5% of the Grand Kankakee Marsh has survived the agricultural and modern development of the region.
“That’s what intrigued our filmmaking team of Jeff Manes, Brian Kallies, Tom Desch and myself as we set out on a journey to tell this story,“ said Pat Wisniewski of For Goodness Sake Productions. “Hopefully this educational program will help the next generation to understand the benefits of our natural areas and work to preserve them in the future.”
“NIPSCO is proud to sponsor The Everglades of the North,” said Wendy Lussier, director of communications for NIPSCO. “We’re pleased to help make this high quality documentary available to the general public, as well as to teachers for inclusion in their virtual or in-class curriculum as an additional learning resource during these challenging times.”
Shifting Sands: On the Path to Sustainability explores the struggle between our natural world and our industrial economy, set against the birthplace of the term ecology: the Indiana Dunes.
“When environmentalist Lee Botts first expressed interest in creating a documentary about the Lake Michigan shoreline, it was the beginning of a fascinating education in how we create a more sustainable world that includes economic development, environmental protection and social justice,” Wisniewski continued. “The filmmaking team of Lee, Rana Segal, Tom Desch and myself set out to tell the story of the struggle to preserve globally rare natural environments found in the Indiana Dunes while being interspersed with the economic engines of the industrial world.”
The Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s community foundation, partnered with Botts in producing Shifting Sands. “We believe this film will provide students a historical perspective of the relationship between industry and the environment in our region,” said Carolyn Saxton, the organization’s President and CEO. “Those relationships at times may be strained but this documentary illustrates how working together can benefit us all.”
“Shifting Sands: On the Path to Sustainability provides viewers with a deep understanding of Indiana Dunes National Park’s beauty, history, and challenges,” said Colin Deverell, Midwest Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association. “But our national parks are facing increasing threats like pollution and climate change. We will need to continue to speak up for parks like Indiana Dunes to make sure they are protected well into the future.”
With schools across Indiana closed or limited in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Lakeshore PBS and the seven other Indiana public television stations have provided curriculum resource materials and at-home learning experiences in conjunction to its programming schedule, contextualized for educational use that align with Indiana curriculum standards. The resources include grab-and-go activities, lesson plans, interactive lessons, and media that illustrate specific topics or themes and support materials across subjects.
“At-home learning programs are trying to help to fill the educational gap during the current situation,” Muhammad said. “These documentaries have companion educational resources free to anyone interested in learning more.”
Lakeshore PBS broadcasts educational content for children in grades K-12 Monday through Friday for 7.5 hours each day. In addition to its on-air educational programming, Lakeshore PBS offers countless high-quality and free resources and correlating materials to help children in grades K-12 continue to learn at home at www.lakeshorepbs.org/educational-resources/.
“We are lucky to partner with these local producers to bring these stories to our audience,” said Matt Franklin, Vice President of TV Operations for Lakeshore Public Media. “Times being as they are, we welcome the opportunity to provide these programs, and hopefully it can open people up to more of the great programming that public media has to offer.”
Lakeshore Public Media is a community-license public media organization that is the Northwest Indiana member of the Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, serving Indiana’s second largest urban area through their Lakeshore PBS and Lakeshore Public Radio service.
“Providing our students with access to high-quality and evidence-based materials is critical during this extended time of out-of-school learning,” said Indiana State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick. “I am grateful for IPBS and their local television affiliates for partnering with us to create engaging educational experiences for Indiana’s children.” The state’s online resources for educators and families are available at www.doe.in.gov/elearning/2020-covid-19-remote-learning.
Lakeshore PBS broadcasts its main channel over the air on 56, on Comcast on 17 or 21 (HD Channel 239), on Dish Network HD Channel 6320, AT&T U-verse HD Channel 1056 and DirecTV on 56 and online at lakeshorepbs.org. Lakeshore Public Radio can be heard on 89.1 FM and streaming online at lakeshorepublicradio.org.