The Trump administration has proposed a bill, which aims to defund the National Endowment of the Arts as well as its subsidiaries. As if the NEA defunding wasn’t harmful enough for the arts education in America, the defunding of its subsidiaries may be even worse.
Programs such as PBS, have been around for years. As one of the targets now under Trump’s bill, it may face defunding which could ultimately result in a shut down of the organization.
For years, parents trusted PBS with their children’s entertainment, but also education.
As Jane Natt recalls: “I remember my daughter coming up to me and saying there are 7 days in a week– Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I said who told you that, because she hadn’t learned it in school yet, and well it was on PBS.”
A trusted channel by parents for children, what could a shut down mean? In certain areas of low socio economic status or poverty, families often can’t afford more than cable. PBS offered quality engagement for children that may not have opportunities otherwise.
An interview with father, Samuel Miles, gives insight into the possible changes and backlash felt if PBS were defunded.
Samuel, does your son watch TV shows on PBS currently?
“Yeah he is watchin’ Sesame Street right now and thats about all for now. He is only two so thats just where he is at. “
If PBS were no longer an option, how would you adjust and what do you believe the impacts would be for you and other families?
“I think for early education its important to have those shows. Screens are everywhere now-a-days and … so… we would have to make adjustments definitely and do some research on other possible options out there. We have family members and friends that do a little photo shop and video editing and stuff that they share with their children so we could maybe ask to share those and try to develop those kinds of things more within our community.”
What other materials are you using as educational tools for your son?
“My wife used to work for an elementary school so she has little boards up around the house… ABC’s and different ways of learning them like American Sign Language, she is trying to make him constantly excited with learning so he doesn’t get bored. “
The Trump administration has proposed a bill which would defund National Arts Programs such as PBS, what are your views on this plan?
“I do have to advocate for PBS.. I grew up on that. Shows like Reading Rainbow and Arthur, the ones that follow kids as they grow. I remember watching those and then seeing books like those at my local library and then wanting to read them, like those look fun. We need programs like PBS because if not what else is left? Only entertainment based programs that have little educational value.
Food for thought. Do you think the NEA should be defunded? Comment below.
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