But Why, VPR’s podcast for curious kids, will broadcast a live, interactive educational program for elementary school students on Fridays at 1 p.m. May 8 through June 19.
The programs will cover a wide range of topics related to natural science, poetry, space, history and civics. Students are invited to call or write in with their questions during each show, which will be answered by expert guests. The first program on Friday, May 8 focused on bats with guest Barry Genzlinger of the Vermont Bat Center.
Some episodes will offer fun activities families can do at home in advance of the show. Educators and families can find upcoming topics and related activities at butwhykids.org.
“But Why is thrilled to be able to offer entertaining and educational shows for kids during this challenging time for many families,” said host Jane Lindholm. “And I think adults will get just as much out of these radio programs, including a renewed appreciation for the curiosity and insight of our youngest listeners.”
The series was developed at the urging of the Vermont Agency Of Education to help children and their caregivers finish the academic year from home, after schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Not all Vermont students have access to high-speed internet,” said Scott Finn, VPR’s president and CEO. “This live broadcast over VPR’s statewide network will help more Vermonters have equal access to this resource.”
The Agency of Education will provide additional learning opportunities such as reading and other educational resources to accompany the series. Some programs will include homework assignments and writing or research prompts for the next week’s program. Teachers are welcome to include the programs in their weekly lesson plans.
“I am very proud of our partnership with Vermont Public Radio to provide additional educational resources to Vermont students,” said Secretary of Education Dan French. “But Why has some great programming to offer, and we are grateful to be working with them to produce high quality learning materials for students.”
But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids is an internationally-recognized podcast from Vermont Public Radio geared to listeners ages 4-10 and their adults. Host Jane Lindholm and producer Melody Bodette take audio questions submitted by kids and find interesting people to help answer them in on-demand episodes that come out every other Friday.
Questions have ranged from science to ethics, politics to family dynamics, like “Why don’t people have tails?”, “How do hurricanes form?” and “How are babies made?”
The podcast launched in 2016 and has received questions from kids in all 50 states and 62 countries. It has listeners worldwide and has exceeded a million downloads in just the last 6 weeks.
In addition to But Why Live, VPR is working with the Agency Of Education to broadcast a statewide prom and graduation ceremonies later this spring.