On TV, on the radio, online and on the ground, WETA is making a difference in the Washington, D.C. community and beyond. But don't take our word for it! Here's a sampling of what members of our community have said about us.

WETA's Director of Community Engagement, Ferne Barrow, with the Cat in the Hat at Discover Engineering Day.
WETA's Director of Community Engagement, Ferne Barrow, with the Cat in the Hat at Discover Engineering Day.

“I am a long-time consumer of WETA. My most significant times started when I became a mother at the age of 20. I had no money, really. But I had a strong desire to raise a well-rounded child. I depended on public broadcasting, both through radio and television. They stay a part of her life today at 26 years old. PBS was a no-brainer. Educational and enjoyable shows without commercial interruption were necessary and available to me at no cost. They both offered VALUE to our lives and still do.”

“When I was growing up, we didn't have a lot of money. We couldn't afford cable and had to make due with local broadcast TV. The shows on WETA were always there. Bill Nye the Science Guy, The Magic School Bus, and the NOVA programs - these shows instilled in me a love of learning and science which carried me into my professional career as an Engineer. Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street - these instilled in me important traits like being generous and kind, being understanding and standing up for things that are truly important - being a good person. Wishbone and the Reading Rainbow - a love of reading that borders on the absurd for me still - just ask my mother and my girlfriend.”

“Since 2005, I have been a live-in caregiver for my mother, who has Alzheimer's. Her disease is malicious. It makes prisoners of both the patient and the caregiver. I have not been able to leave the house to participate in or see performances, community activities or other activities other than medical or household shopping for almost 13 years. WETA has enabled me to stay sane with its sharing of the arts, science, news and nature every night and added the joy of constant music and theater to my mother's life. Finally, WETA has saved my sanity and allowed me to feel like I have a connection with our world.”

“This station means a tremendous amount to me. I'm on active duty in the Navy and am stationed in Japan. I constantly stream WETA to get the latest and stay connected to friends, family and the United States. My wife and I rely on Washington Week every week not only for news, discussion and the latest inside information, but also to feel connected as expatriate Americans living in Japan. Without WETA, I would feel lost and disconnected.”

“I am a first-generation immigrant. I'm so grateful for PBS, and its educational and nurturing programming like Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. Those programs helped me to feel not so much an outsider when I started school. In the time before the internet, PBS was one of the few sources of diverse cultural programming.”

“My children grew up on PBS.  My son, who has Asperger's, loved Sesame Street and by 18 months knew the entire alphabet and count to 20.  By age four he could read at a second grade level - a big leg up for child with social and communication deficits.  He learned this through watching shows on PBS.. Last spring that little boy graduated from college with a degree in Japanese. PBS programming gave him a head start that he desperately needed.”

“I discovered WETA when working at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Work there was difficult, dangerous and stressful as we worked, ate, and lived in metal container units on a dusty compound. But my office always had WETA spilling out into the hallway.  People would be rushing by and catch themselves up short, stop and listen for a minute, and inevitably smile.  Stress would dissipate: military colleagues, local Afghan employees, everyone would say how good it was to hear something beautiful in the middle of chaos. To me, WETA is always a reminder that beauty endures. I love and support WETA and PBS' mission.”

“For years I have known that I could turn on WETA and always feel elevated. Years ago, when driving carpool, the boys would always want to turn on their music.  I told them that I was driving, that their music made me nervous. ‘Oh, brother, Mrs. Holder’, was always the response…Those little boys now have children of their own, and always put on WETA as they drive their own carpools.”

Three women sitting at table reading book
Participants in a WETA Ready to Learn workshop learn skills they can use to educate young people. (Photo by Cable Risdon)

“Walk past a Ready To Learn workshops and you will see something wonderful – a whole new world opening up to teachers, children and parents all discovering that teaching and learning the Ready To Learn way can be fun. Partnering with this program is a joy and the results are sure as they know the way to show teachers and families how to use TV and books to create a culture of learning and reading for young children.”

“I was new to the community and the program helped me meet other moms. I love the tips on how to read with my kids.”

“The Ready To Learn program is all about empowerment. It gives parents and caregivers the confidence they need to take on the critical role of their children’s first teachers. One can only imagine the ripple effect that this training creates – the ripples can be felt throughout families, schools, and communities as those trained in turn teach others and new skill sets are created. Without the Ready To Learn program in our community, we would have fewer bedtime stories read each night, fewer adults fully engaged in literacy learning with their children, and fewer children with the light of learning in their eyes.”

“Ready To Learn and Meet Me at the Library is a joyful experience for parents, kids and school staff. Together we dig into great books, learn about the worlds, and enjoy the pleasures reading can bring. The time goes by much too fast when we are together laughing, dancing, singing and learning.”

“I am already excited (about Ready To Learn). It’s from WETA, I know it will be great.”

“The (Ready To Learn) training left the teachers feeling invigorated and they put those feelings into action in the classroom.”