When "Sesame Street" first aired 50 years ago, it introduced the idea of using television as an educational tool.
Also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year is WTCI, the Tennessee Valley's Public Broadcasting Station, which shares the show's commitment to educational, entertaining and commercial-free programming.
The station will celebrate the two's shared anniversary at WTCI's annual Family Day event, set for Sunday, Nov. 10 from 1-4 p.m.
"We have been hosting Family Day for over 20 years and are so excited to invite families in our community to join us in celebrating our 50th year of serving the community," said Jennifer Crutchfield, director of public relations, community engagement and education for WTCI.
Families and kids of all ages can celebrate Big Bird and the gang with a big cake, which they'll enjoy alongside PBS KIDS characters including Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog and the Nature Cats. Attendees can also participate in coloring and green-screen activities featuring their favorite "Sesame Street" characters.
Professor Gig-A-Watt, EPB's entertaining educator who teaches kids about electricity, safety and sustainable power, will also be joining in the festivities.
Along with celebrating the anniversary and showing everyone a good time, the purpose of the event is to bring awareness to the resources WTCI provides outside of TV shows like "Sesame Street."
One of the special day's activities involves PBS Learning Media, an online portal offering educational content created by WTCI and 350 other PBS stations across the country. Free to students, parents and educators, it can be searched by keyword, age and state to make it easy to find content related to what kids are learning at school.
"It's a great resource for parents," Crutchfield said of the site. "How many parents struggle to help kids with classwork because they don't know the answer? This helps parents bridge that gap, and it helps students by providing safe, trusted resources outside the classroom so they're prepared to more fully engage with lessons inside the classroom."
With the event occurring just before Veterans Day, WTCI is also using it as an opportunity to honor veterans. A Quilts of Valor ceremony, in which local veterans will be presented handmade quilts, is scheduled at 2 p.m.
Food trucks such as Grate Melts and Kona Ice will be outside the studio, where kids can also get up close with an engine from the Chattanooga Fire Department.
The WTCI studio is at 7540 Bonnyshire Drive, behind the Bonny Oaks Drivers Service Center. For more information, visit wtcitv.org/familyday.
Email Emily Crisman at firstname.lastname@example.org