Tallahassee, FL, 7/26/21 – Today at the Florida Public Media annual meeting it was announced that Tasha Weinstein, WFSU Public Media Education and Engagement Manager was named the 2021 recipient of the Janyth Righter Innovation Award. This award honors those whose work is moving public media in Florida forward in new and innovative ways by looking at things differently and thinking out of the box. Established in 2017, in honor of the groundbreaking work former Florida Public Media Executive Director Janyth Righter did to increase station collaboration and secure the financial future of Florida public media stations across Florida.
Tasha was selected for this award for her innovative response to delivering educational content to educators and families during the pandemic. A signature program for WFSU is the Summer Challenge, a program to prevent summer learning loss in young children. Tasha produced a one-hour broadcast special around the theme of Mountains, Hills & Mounds that took children to various sites in our area to learn about the geology of the region. She linked the content to digital resources and worked with partner organizations to build on this theme producing their own short videos that have been rolled out during the summer over social media sites so that families will have a steady flow of ideas to use with their children during the summer. https://wfsu.org/education/summer-challenge-2021/
Another innovative program that Tasha oversaw was to link the national PBS KIDS program Molly of Denali to the Muscogee people of Florida. Tasha and her team created a “virtual” museum that provided a wealth of resources and information about Native American people, their culture, history, and stories. Pivoting this project from an in person “pop-up” museum to a virtual one allowed WFSU to reach more people with this project and she developed a workshop model for educators to better understand how to use this resource.
“Florida Public Media is delighted to honor Tasha Weinstein with this year’s award. She brings enthusiasm, passion, and a strong commitment to her job, to WFSU and most importantly – to the parents, students, and teachers of the Big Bend area. She works tirelessly to tie the ongoing important work of PBS and WFSU to the Tallahassee community. Tasha is a nationally recognized leader in education, and we are fortunate to have her part of our public media family. The award recognizes the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit among Florida Public Media members” states Patrick Yack, Executive Director of Florida Public Media.
WFSU Director of Content & Community Partners, Kim Kelling added, “Tasha is a dynamo who has taken the WFSU Education Program to new heights. Everything she approaches is done with the mindset of how we can be more effective in reaching underserved children and families. With a pandemic impacting in person work for the past 16 months, Tasha has been instrumental in rethinking how we do our work and how we can engage the community. She has worked across all of our departments at WFSU to achieve that goal
WFSU Public Media provides quality public broadcasting services to the north Florida and south Georgia areas. WFSU Public Media is both an NPR and PBS member station, with both TV and FM housed together in one building near Innovation Park. In Panama City, WFSU Public Media is known as WFSG-TV and WFSW-FM. WFSU Public Media also provides community engagement and educational services. Examples include Ready To Learn Community Collaboratives for Early Learning & Media the American Graduate Project and children’s projects associated with PBS KIDS. WFSU Public Media enriches lives and cultivates diverse perspectives by connecting our community through content and services that inform, educate, and entertain. WFSU’s Education & Engagement team is comprised of educators and experienced media professionals with a desire to pair media with real-life experiences and hands-on learning while providing equity and access in education. wfsu.org/education
About Florida FPM
Florida Public Media is a non-profit association of 24 public radio and public television stations in the state of Florida. As the only statewide broadcasting network, we reach more than 99% of Florida’s population through traditional television and radio broadcasts, digital platforms, and community engagement activities. Our member stations and The Florida Channel are state partners in education initiatives, emergency management communications and public affairs programing. Our collaborative efforts identify and sponsor regional and statewide projects that enhance community programs that serve the citizens of Florida.