Families & Children

WITF is committed to supporting families and children through excellent educational programming and engaging, fun family events. Explore to discover more about helpful resources, community support, and ways to connect. We love to help children dream, imagine and learn more.


Ready, Set, Explore

Located throughout our region, these events typically occur on Saturday mornings and link families, PBS characters, and learning together. With support from community agencies and sponsors, these family play dates allow children, aged 3-8, to engage with their families around meaningful, interesting content in fun, age-appropriate ways. They also get to play with their favorite PBS characters such as Curious George and Daniel Tiger. Themes for the Ready, Set, Explore events are tailored to meet the needs of communities and include the arts, connections to nature, science topics like weather, animals, and space, literacy and health.

WITF recognizes that transitions can be tricky. To help support families and children in the transition from preschool to kindergarten, WITF has partnered with community agencies and sponsors to create Ready Set Go Kindergarten, an event that provides families with useful information and gives the soon-to-be kindergartners a day full of fun and memories.

WITF’s annual August event, celebrates the newest, incoming kindergarten class, and typically draws over 800 family members and kindergartners to the Public Media Center.  Look for next year’s event on Saturday, August 1, 2020.

WITF’s Back To School Bash is one day celebration of children’s transition from summer back to school.  We know that transitions can be tricky and while some children look forward to heading back into the classroom, some young children can feel anxious and so can their families.  This event is designed to assist families in gaining resources and helping children celebrate this annual milestone with engaging, fun activities, character meet and greets and a day playing together.

Ready or not, about four million children enter kindergarten each year in the United States. Our children’s earliest experiences are important from the moment of their birth to the moment they walk into a Kindergarten classroom. How do we help our children get ready for this really big step?

The Path to Kindergarten Starts Here website

WITF’s EITC approved education outreach program, Explore In The Classroom, is designed for kindergartners and first grade students from underserved school districts. The program uses beloved PBS characters to engage children in literacy, science and math experiences and gives each child books to take home (often the very first books brought into his or her household).

Explore FREE, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more for teachers and families.

Join in on all the fun on PBS Kids interactive website with character information, games and crafts.

News Media Literacy

WITF, in cooperation with York City School District, has developed a
pilot program called News Media Literacy. This program is designed to
train educators in York City School District’s STEAM Academy to support
students in becoming media literate and confident, critical thinkers.

Each spring, the WITF Central PA Spelling Bee invites 4th – 8th grade students from 10 surrounding counties to demonstrate their spelling knowledge as they attempt to make their way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Interested schools register with Scripps in the fall and conduct their own Spelling Bee. Winners from each of the participating schools compete in a 50 word written and 50 word vocabulary test held at the WITF Public Media Center. No more than the top 36 spellers participate in the WITF Grand Championship Spelling Bee, an oral spell down, which is broadcast on WITF TV. The Grand Championship speller qualifies to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

WITF Kids Club was created for families who want to celebrate quality educational programming and enrich the lives of their children and our community. WITF Kids Club offers children the opportunity to feel like they’re a part of their favorite programs, from seeing their name on the TV screen during the week of their birthday to having exclusive opportunities to meet and greet their favorite PBS Kids characters!

You never forget the teacher who makes a difference…

WITF and Rotary District 7390 each year partner to celebrate
teachers in our community through the Teacher Impact Awards.