WQPT—television worth watching… and supporting!

Because of member support we were able to accomplish a variety of initiatives, events and other activities for the region we serve. We provide life-long learning opportunities to everyone in our viewing area. We extend our appreciation to everyone who helps make WQPT a success, not only on our airwaves, but as an important community resource and partner. Thank You.



Imagination Station

FeatureWQPT’s premier family event, Imagination Station is aimed at having fun, with entertaining and educational activities for families to draw on the strength of our educational programming provided by your PBS Kids favorite characters. Sponsorship proceeds from the event are designated to benefit WQPT’s children’s programming and our regional educational outreach initiatives and activities.

Imagination Station offers educational activities, demonstrations, entertainment, career exploration, and skill building in key areas like literacy, science, technology, engineering, math, art and more. Attendees have the opportunity to meet their favorite PBS KIDS friends such as Cookie Monster, Daniel Tiger, Curious George and many others.

It is common knowledge that television should not be thought of as a babysitter—kids need to be stimulated on multiple levels and should have continual opportunities to play and learn beyond the television screen. Imagination Station helps to inspire children to explore the world around them. Our newest PBS KIDS show Nature Cat was created especially to encourage kids to get out of the house and explore.

In 2015, the National Friends of Public Broadcasting honored three Imagination Station volunteers for their work. Nicki Ellis received the Distinguished Service Award given to the volunteer who through community service, has made a significant and outstanding contribution to the public media station in their region. Joan Kranovich received the Achievement Award in Volunteer Management, given to the Volunteer Coordinator who demonstrates outstanding administrative and people skill, and maintains an effective bridge between staff and volunteers. Michael Carton, received the Outstanding Public Broadcasting Volunteer Award, which is presented to a volunteer who has demonstrated leadership, effectiveness, and unselfish devotion to the cause of public broadcasting, impacting it at both the national and local levels. Michael has since joined the staff at WQPT.



Embracing Our Military

FeatureComing back to civilian life brings challenges and opportunities, as well as stories of remarkable courage and sacrifice. Through WQPT’s Embracing Our Military initiative, we help our community understand the veteran experience and we help bring their story to a wider audience.

Embracing Our Military raises awareness of important issues faced by the military community by initiating an on-going community-based dialog through 2016. Special screening events, and monthly programming support educate the region about this important topic. In cooperation with over 87 community partners we continue to be a welcoming place for our military members, veterans and their families.

Embracing Our Military goals: 1) increase the number of veterans connecting with local resources; 2) raise the visibility of the military community at the Rock Island Arsenal in the greater Quad Cities area; 3) connect veterans and military families to resources and services for a successful transition to civilian life.

In October 2015, more than 30 Stories of Service were collected at eight locations across the Quad Cities by WQPT as a part of the Embracing Our Military initiative. In November those stories were delivered to the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project by Congressman Dave Loebsack and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos in a ceremony attended by Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO on behalf of WQPT.

As part of the Embracing Our Military, we co-produced Letters Home to Hero Street with Fourth Wall Films. This documentary focuses on the letters sent home from one of the eight soldiers, whom died during World War II and the Korean conflict—all of whom were from the same block-and-a-half long neighborhood now called Hero Street, USA, in Silvis, Illinois. The street is now known as "Hero Street" in their honor. Learn more




WQPT/PBS Ambassadors

FeatureWQPT/PBS Ambassadors provide assistance to our initiatives and community activities. Consisting of college students, the Ambassadors helped WQPT reach more than 30,000 children at events and workshops, such as our library and classroom visits. The program engages children and helps to build awareness for WQPT.

In 2013, WQPT received the Grassroots Advocacy Award from the National Friends of Public Broadcasting for this engaging and community-oriented program. Read more




PBS Writers Contest

FeatureApproximately 400 kids in grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade in regional schools, enter our annual Writers Contest. The contest is designed to encourage confidence and competence in writing, editing and illustrating skills. Four winners from each grade are awarded prizes. All participants receive a special certificate, and many who enter also receive a free book. Read more




PBS Learning Media

FeatureWQPT provides free workshops to show teachers how to use the service effectively in their classrooms. PBS Learning Media is the destination for easy, instant access to thousands of classroom-ready, digital resource library including videos perfect for the interactive white-board, plus audio and photos, and even in-depth lesson plans. Over 850,000 educators have signed on to PBS Learning Media, a FREE digital media library that incorporates content from 90+ distinguished contributors.

Additionally, WQPT provides free workshops instructing teachers on how to use PBS Learning Media effectively in their classrooms. WQPT’s award-winning documentary Letters Home to Hero Street is now available to teachers nationwide through PBS LearningMedia. The curriculum was created with the help of Illinois Public Media. Learn more




Ready to Learn Conference

FeatureEach Spring WQPT, along with community partners, host the Ready to Learn Conference offering a morning of workshops for educators of young children. This sell-out event is an opportunity for professionals to learn current developments and trends in early childhood education. Participants can also elect to earn hours or credits in their field. Typically, more than 350 professionals attend the annual Ready to Learn Conference.




Regional Programming

FeatureWe continue to expand our on-air local programming. In its sixth year, The Cities with Jim Mertens focuses on the issues, events and other topics relevant to our viewing area. Viewers tell us they enjoy this unique, local perspective on the issues.

We keep regional viewers informed on what they can do when they go Out and About, and we have expanded our local content with the addition of Exploring with Mr. Scott, for children and their parents who would like to explore the local area. Snapshots tells different historic stories about our area. We also take a look back at our military with History Minutes, as well as helping to highlight the work of local documentary films that highlight our people and history.

Our documentary, Letters Home to Hero Street, produced in conjunction with Fourth Wall Films was nominated for a Mid-America EMMY and was a winner at the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival.




Additional Educational Outreach

An essential part of our mission is to help children succeed in school. WQPT partners with numerous organizations throughout our viewing area to enhance the lives of our youngest citizens and their families. Here are some of the highlights of our efforts:

We support approximately 600 children from low income and low literate neighborhoods at selected sites to receive free books five times during the school year. Although teachers may use these books in the classroom, the priority of the First Book Club is on building a child's home library and encourage their love of reading.

We visit countless classrooms and offer free workshops to parents, providers and teachers, providing basic training on the Learning Triangle, appropriate television viewing, child development, reading strategies and hands-on activities.

We host hands-on, learning activities and distribute free books at community events such as the Reading Adventures, Reading Readiness, Blossoms at Butterworth, a 19th Century Christmas and WQPT Kids' Week.

Each year we focus on topics important to our community and its citizens, such as Early Childhood learning and success, and Embracing Our Military. WQPT coordinates on-air round table discussions, guest speakers and educational materials for students, resulting in a coherent message that reaches a wider audience.

We continue our long-standing tradition of partnering with numerous organizations (as well as awarded grant funds) to execute a variety of outreach initiatives, such as supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) activities and materials in elementary classrooms.