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IdahoPTV supports the entire learning ecosystem, serving Idaho parents, caregivers and formal and informal educatorswhether in public, private, or homeschool settingsand working with community organizations focused on children's education. Read about how IdahoPTV’s family and community education projects are bringing Idahoans together and changing lives in neighborhoods around our state. 

IdahoPTV In Your Neighborhood

IdahoPTV knows a child’s first, and most important teacher is you, the parent.


Family of three with father, child and mother smiling

Jacque B.

“I am blown away by the resources provided in the PBS LearningMedia website. I instantly contacted my teacher friends and told them they must use this!”


As a former teacher and principal, Jacque has a great deal of experience finding and creating educational materials for her students. When she decided to home school her youngest child, she was well equipped for the new role.

Family standing next to a tree

Melissa Simmons

This second-grade teacher at Dworshak Elementary School in Burley, Idaho, has found the next generation of teaching tools for her students and for the teachers in her district.


Born and raised in Idaho, Melissa Simmons has been teaching elementary school students for 29 years. And when you meet Simmons, you see that despite nearly three decades in the classroom, she hasn’t lost one bit of enthusiasm, passion, and energy for teaching Idaho’s children.

Erin Barrett

Salmon Public Library's Erin Barrett shares her source of inspiration in IdahoPTV's Storytime in a Box program. 


Late summer often brings fires to the forests around Salmon, Idaho, and 2022 was no different.  A longtime Salmon resident, mother of three, and library assistant at Salmon Public Library, Erin Barrett described the smoky skies around the small eastern Idaho town. “It’s been a rough summer,” she says.

With kids out of school, the library provides a place for parents, grandparents, and other caregivers to bring young learners in for literacy, science, and art activities. 

Family of four standing in a windy area outdoors, mother, father and two children all smiling

Kristin H.

A homeschool parent in Eagle, Idaho, who uses PBS KIDS shows, apps, and games with her two girls, ages 9 and 13.


Kristin H. started homeschooling in Eagle, Idaho, when her eldest was 5 years old. At first, homeschooling was about personal choice; then it was out of necessity.

Family standing next to a tree

Lacey Watkins

An interventionist teacher and former classroom educator in Moscow, Idaho, shares tools she uses to introduce new topics with students and reinforce skills. 


Lacey Watkins’ enthusiasm is contagious.

The mother of two girls has taught preschool, kindergarten, and first grade; she now works as an interventionist teacher for grades K-5 at Lena Whitmore Elementary School in Moscow, Idaho.

Julia Capistran

Passionate about books, literacy, and community service, Julia Capistran is a mother and library volunteer loves to help young learners in Parma, Idaho. 


Capistran strives to create library programming that involves parents, because of the positive effect it has on children’s learning and literacy. Having a greater range of resources, guidance, and hands-on materials provided by IdahoPTV allows her to better involve parents and caregivers. 


Child drawing while sticking his tongue out and concentrating

Kim B.

STEM materials are especially important to this homeschool parent in Nampa, Idaho, who appreciates PBS KIDS for offering “guilt-free screen time” to her kids ages 7, 5, and 3.


Kim B.  is no stranger to the COVID pivot.

Her eldest was ready to start kindergarten, but when the pandemic struck, she chose to homeschool him. And she also chose to do preschool at home for her 5-year-old.

Children raising their hands in class

Melissa Reed

This Weiser, Idaho, teacher benefits from Idaho Public Television’s expertise in online learning and in the classroom. 


Melissa Reed just started her 22nd year teaching Idaho youth. And on this August afternoon, she’s staying late in her classroom, waiting to visit with parents at Weiser School’s Back to School Night.

LaVon Rhodes

A librarian in Challis, Idaho, for five years, Rhodes shares her experience participating in IdahoPTV’s Storytime in a Box program and cohort, and explains how it has enhanced the library’s literacy outreach.


In 2022, librarian LaVon Rhodes participated in Idaho Public Television’s Storytime in a Box program, which IdahoPTV designed for Idaho public libraries. This year, the focus was the five early literacy practices that provide preschool-aged children and their families the skills needed to start kindergarten ready to learn.


A small boy with blonde hair is raising his arms to put on a hat from 'Cat in the Hat'

Tenille Call

For busy working mom and parent of 3 Tenille, new community is built around learning programs in American Falls through Idaho Public Television’s Family and Community Workshops. 


Call is a member of the Early Learning Collaborative in American Falls, Idaho, and is grateful for the partnership with Idaho Public Television, which sits on the group’s collaborative board to brainstorm ideas, offer support for community events, and provides ideas and resources for hands-on learning with families.

Headshot of Paige Somoza

Paige Somoza

This PBS Digital Innovator, teacher and instructional coach makes it clear: “sit and get learning” is a thing of the past. Idaho Public Television puts learning in the hands of the students while teaching them twenty-first-century skills.


Paige Somoza has just finished her summer canning: strawberry and rhubarb pie filling. She loves a good project.

Paige takes lessons from Idaho Public Television and PBS and brings them into her job as a teacher and instructional coach.

Woman smiling

Cara Marchbanks

A community schools resource coordinator for Notus School District in Notus, Idaho, Cara Marchbanks says that she sees firsthand how access to early childhood education helps students succeed. 


Cara Marchbanks is an energetic community schools resource coordinator for the Notus School District in Notus, Idaho. With a population of less than 600, it’s the smallest town in Canyon County.


Do you have your own IdahoPTV education story to share? 
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