What is Raise Up Radio?
Raise up Radio addresses the educational needs of rural youth and families, ensuring distance learning and library services are more equitably accessible. The project utilizes radio as a means of program distribution because of its low barrier for direct access to content by community members. In addition, the project builds infrastructure for participating libraries serving rural communities through collaboration and mentorship with University of North Texas’ nationally recognized family learning scholars, while also creating a model which illustrates best practices for national adoption. The program began in Fall 2021 and is scheduled to run for two years with two different cohorts.
Learning Podcast Series Broadcasted on Local Radio Stations
Pottsboro (Texas) Area Library and Tuscaloosa (Alabama) Public Library will recruit local families to participate in Raise Up Radio: Family and Youth Engagement in Library Supported Learning Via Radio. The project aims at developing a STEM learning podcast series which will be broadcasted via radio. These new radio programs will be developed by local youth and families using best practices for equitable youth and family engagement in learning. Despite technological advances, radio is an important resource for rural residents to gain information.
Over the course of a year, participating families will meet together with the library staff for a period of approximately 8 weeks. During this time, they will (1) identify community needs related to STEM as well as community assets, (2) choose a topic(s) to cover in the podcast, (3) use provided equipment to record and edit up to 5 podcast episodes, including interviews of local experts, (4) create learning kits for community members to participate with the podcast activities, and (5) design tools to measure community experiences with the podcast.
Year 1 Goal
At the conclusion of year 1, library staff from Pottsboro Area Library and Tuscaloosa Public Library will then serve as a network for the second cohort. The University of North Texas and the University of Alabama, in partnership with the Pottsboro Area Library and the Tuscaloosa Public Library, are focused on addressing educational inequities and create a professional network of librarians who use radio broadcasts.