Arkansas PBS, ADE collaborate for second season of ‘Rise and Shine’

Nutrition information with “Zach Lunch” is part of the “Rise and Shine” program, created by Arkansas PBS and the Arkansas Department of Education.

CONWAY, Ark. — Arkansas PBS and the Arkansas Department of Education have collaborated to create Season Two of “Rise and Shine,” an extensive educational program designed to boost summer learning and help K-5 students retain academic learning targets. The six-week program – featuring lessons led by Arkansas teachers to reinforce learning in key subjects including literacy, math, science and social studies – will air on Arkansas PBS weekdays beginning Tuesday, July 5, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

“We are thrilled to produce a second season of ‘Rise and Shine’ with the Arkansas Department of Education and statewide partners, nurturing summer learning for students in K-5,” Arkansas PBS CEO Courtney Pledger said. “This immersive educational experience allows engaging teachers to connect with students during summer months and is also available for classroom use moving forward. At Arkansas PBS, we are committed to enriching and empowering Arkansans of all ages through content that is essential to their lives.”

“Rise and Shine” Season Two will consist of more than 90 hours of high-quality programming – much of it locally produced – and resources available at no cost to families. The over-the-air broadcast of “Rise and Shine” will help fill the void for students who do not have internet access outside of school, whether due to availability or associated expense.

Working in congruence with the Arkansas Academic Standards framework crafted by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Arkansas educators and statewide partners will provide K-5 students with customized content centered on favorite PBS KIDS series. Leading these engaging lessons will be Arkansas Teachers of The Year, and students will be encouraged to learn with over 30 field trips to locations throughout the state including the Arkansas Travelers, Arkansas 4-H Center, Arkansas State Capitol, Arkansas Railroad Museum, Bull Shoals Caverns, Petit Jean State Park and many more.

The six-week series will connect students with mini-lessons led by the following Arkansas Teachers of the Year:

Jessica Saum, 2022 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

Susanna Post, 2021 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

Joel Lookadoo, 2020 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

Stacey McAdoo, 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

Randi House, 2018 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

Courtney Cochran, 2017 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

Meghan Ables, 2016 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

Additionally, two new guest teachers – Trey Suskie and Lady Molina – will host special segments.

Other original segments each week will include science with “Wendy Weather Balloon”; nutrition information with “Zach Lunch”; Mr. Steve, the Music Man literacy music videos; “When I was a 3rd Grader” animated shorts; and a new segment “Spelling B’s with Benji and Bart.”

“Rise and Shine” will connect students with supplemental remote lessons grounded in curriculum from subject matter experts and Arkansas teachers, while also providing introductory and concluding transitions for national PBS KIDS educational programming to support learning targets put in place by DESE.

“We are really excited and pleased to partner again with Arkansas PBS and other community partners for a second season of ‘Rise and Shine,’” DESE Deputy Commissioner Stacy Smith said. “The first season was a huge success, with students and educators from around the state watching and learning each day. By offering this successful educational programming during the critical summer months when school is out, our goal is to reduce learning loss by bridging the gap between robust learning that occurred this past school year and preparing students to return to school this fall.”

Families and students across the state are encouraged to extend the learning with “Rise and Shine” Power Packets, free summer activity kits for kids printed in both English and Spanish. Power Packets are available for download or can be requested to be mailed directly to homes, daycares, summer camps and more at

In addition to broadcasts, the programming will be available on-demand through streaming devices, the Engage Arkansas PBS app and on the Arkansas PBS website. A robust community outreach component will localize the effort in all counties. More information is available at

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