DE's first 24-hour educational cable access channel goes live

The Red Clay Consolidated School District Superintendent Merv Daugherty and Wilmington City Council President Theo Gregory, along with other city and Red Clay officials, met at Thomas McKean High School on Tuesday, January 22 to officially "flip the switch" for Delaware's first 24-hour educational cable access channel that has begun airing programming today.

While numerous school districts operate cable access channels in neighboring states, EDtv is a first for Delaware.

EDtv will be available on Channel 965 on the Comcast system and will be available to all Comcast customers—residential and businesses—in the City of Wilmington and throughout New Castle County. Comcast subscribers will be able to access EDtv regardless of which tier of service they purchase from Comcast.

In addition to information about area schools, EDtv will offer educational, entertaining programming created by staff, students, young people throughout Wilmington, local filmmakers and national institutions such as NASA and the Annenberg Foundation.

"We are very proud of the City's role in creating the opportunity for a new television channel devoted to helping children in Wilmington and throughout New Castle County learn more and grow as individuals," City Council President Gregory said.

"We view the channel as a public service," Red Clay Superintendent Merv Daugherty said. "Red Clay was deep into the planning stages for a communications center at McKean when the opportunity with Wilmington became available," he said.

The first priority of the station is to provide opportunities for young people to create, shoot, edit and produce high-quality programming.

Nina LaRock, a sophomore at McKean, said she heard about the development of EDtv when she was in eighth grade, which is why she chose to attend McKean. LaRock is now the head news reporter for the live shows at the station, and she also developed a commercial titled, "Be Confident, Be Different."

"I want to go to college for acting, and the skills I am learning will definitely be helpful," LaRock said.

Students enrolled in communications courses at McKean and other high schools will work at the station as part of their course work. Young people from Wilmington will be encouraged to create broadcast-quality videos through workshops and clubs offered by community groups. Students throughout New Castle County may also submit videos to be considered for broadcast.

A second major goal of the channel is to provide entertaining, informational programs that help educate children throughout the area, focusing on universal educational targets such as reading proficiency by the end of third grade and lowering the drop-out rate.

Red Clay also intends for the channel to become a central place for parents and community members to find information on education, wellness, issues related to raising children and community organizations dedicated to helping children and their families. The organizations and all area schools—including other districts, charters and private schools—will be invited to submit information to a community calendar.

Parents will also be informed of community resources and programs available to their children and families, with an eye toward increasing awareness and involvement.