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As the winter break and the New Year are fast approaching, you, your students, or your own children might be interested in some of these things:

1) In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation American Experience has produced a three-part docudrama, The Abolitionists, that will begin on January 8th from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. and continue on January 15th and January 22nd at the same time. The series tells how Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison and their abolitionist allies Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimké turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation. Teacher Guides and Lesson plans are available at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/teachers-resources/abolitionists-guide/.

2) Two upcoming Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trips can be accessed free of charge through LPB. Register at lpb.org/education and access information will be mailed to you before the field trip. You can also watch the field trips over the air on LPB 2.
Colonial Idol airs on Thursday, December 13, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. Vote for outstanding musical performances in Colonial Idol! This exciting talent showcase features 18th-century music, including Native American songs, military tunes, enslaved people's work songs, and much more. As the judges deliberate, discover how music can influence individuals, shape public opinion, and even change history.
Research Rescue Squad airs on Thursday, January 17, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. Someone is stealing books, removing footnotes, and confusing students with false information. Luckily, the Research Rescue Squad will save the day! Join the Squad as they try to defeat the evil mastermind, Dubious Sources, by helping students do solid research using the library, the internet, and museums.

3) Beginning Monday, December 10th the Pteranodon kids have special visitors—their Grandma and Grandpa—who kick off new episodes of Dinosaur Train daily through December 14th at 1:30 p.m. The kids delight in realizing they share similar traits with their grandparents (laughs, expressions, and interests), and love showing Grandma and Grandpa around the nest area and playing some games they all like.

4) Valid for the month of December, PBS TeacherLine is offering a promo code for $30 off your next graduate-level professional development course starting January 23, 2013! And, yes, you can share it with your colleagues. Please enter the code prior to check out. You must submit your order by December 31, 2012. Promo Code: 2012HOLIDAY.

5) Did you know that you can register to receive free alerts when the International Space Station is visible from your city? You can register at http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/ to receive NASA’s email or text alerts. The space station appears as a fast moving plane and is the third brightest object in the sky, after the sun and moon, and can be seen without binoculars.

6) The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) has announced the sixth student experiment design competition lasting from February 25th through late April 2013. The winning experiments will be included in the Mission 4 experiments payload of the ferry flight to the International Space Station (ISS) Orion in the Fall of 2013. The experiments will stay 6 weeks on the Station. If your student group may be interested in participating then contact NCESSE now to explore participation in Mission 4 to ISS. You can review the pre-planning involved in the competition at http://ssep.ncesse.org/.

7) Something else is happening up in the sky. Dr. Two Brains is planning to turn the moon into cheese. Will the new year begin with Two Brains acting on his resolution to feast on a cheesy moon, or will WordGirl be able to stop him in time? Word Girl faces lots of trouble in the new year as you will see in the special episode, “Hello New Year, Goodbye Moon,” on December 31st at 3:30 p.m., repeating on January 1st on LPB at the same time. WordGirl will tackle the words massive and resolution. In “Art in the Park” Becky agrees to help out Violet with her poetry, painting, and music performance. Meanwhile, Mr. Big has turned into a self-help guru, touting a good kind of mind control. Can Becky help out her best friend while finding out the truth behind Mr. Big’s big ruse? The vocabulary words are performance and ruse.

8) The 2013 Louisiana Young Heroes Competition is underway. Nominate a child who is in grades 7-12 and has excelled in the classroom, served their community or shown great courage in overcoming adversity in their own lives. The student must be enrolled in a Louisiana school or homeschooled and cannot be older than 19 years of age. Some previous Young Heroes have overcome physical handicaps, raised money for charity, cared for family members, assisted hurricane victims, and even saved lives.
Nomination forms can be downloaded from the LPB website (http://www.lpb.org/heroes) or submitted through the online form. Letters of recognition and other supporting materials should be sent to support the nomination. Students who have been nominated in past years may be re-nominated for this year’s awards. Previous winners are not eligible. The deadline for entries is February 8, 2013.
Louisiana Young Heroes Day will be April 17, 2013. The Young Heroes will be treated to a day full of activities including lunch on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion. The day will culminate with an evening banquet in Baton Rouge. For more information, call Margaret Schlaudecker at (800) 272-8161, ext. 4276 or (225) 767-4276 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

9) The Louisiana Public Square episode, “Confronting Louisiana’s Dropout Dilemma,” will air Sunday, December 16th at 11 a.m. It is also accessible online at http://www.lpb.org/publicsquare.

10) Thinking ahead a little…Join LPB on Sunday, February 3nd from noon until 5 p.m. at BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center in Baton Rouge as we spotlight the Wild Kratts and Dinosaur Train Underwater Adventures. In addition to special showings of Wild Kratts: Lost at Sea and Dinosaur Train’s Submarine Adventure, BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center will have live animals at the event along with their animal exhibits and educational presentations about Louisiana wildlife at the Swamp’s pavilion. A swamp tour will also be available where families can see numerous species of birds which live in Louisiana during the winter along with the other natural flora and fauna. LPB will have goody bags with Wild Kratts and Dinosaur Train items for kids to take home. For directions and admission prices, go to BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center’s website at http://www.brec.org/swamp. For more info, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (225) 767-4276.

11) During the holidays be sure to check out all the travel and “how to” shows on LPB 1 and LPB2. Check the schedule at http://beta.lpb.org/index.php?schedules/whatson and learn something fun and new during your time off.

12) Now for fun holiday shows:
On Friday, December 14th, Live from Lincoln Center: The Richard Tucker Opera Gala premieres at 9:00 p.m. featuring the 2012 award winner, soprano Ailyn Pérez, joined by baritones Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Gerald Finley, mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina, tenors Stephen Costello and Marcello Giordani, bass Ildar Abdrazakov, bass-baritone Erwin Schrott and others onstage in a program of favorite arias and ensembles.
On Sunday, December 16th, Great Performances: Harry Connick Jr. In Concert on Broadway airs at 10:00 p.m.
On Monday, December 17th, Great Performances: Magical Mystery Tour Revisited which airs at 9:00 p.m. chronicles the behind-the-scenes story of the making of the Magical Mystery Tour, the least known of the films starring the Beatles. Produced at the peak of Beatlemania in 1967, it was never theatrically released or nationally broadcast on U.S. television, receiving only sporadic TV syndication in the 1980s. The film has unseen footage and features contributions from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Martin Scorsese, Peter Fonda and Terry Gilliam, among others. At 10 p.m. is Great Performances: The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, a film ahead of its time, with a mostly improvised and loosely plotted script based around a surreal dreamlike coach trip to an unknown destination. The film is a showcase for six classic tracks including like “I Am the Walrus,” “The Fool on the Hill” and “Your Mother Should Know” and features John, Paul, George and Ringo as themselves.
On Friday, December 21st, Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir premieres at 9:00 p.m. Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Jane Seymour and Grammy Award-winning baritone Nathan Gunn join the renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in a magnificent Christmas special featuring some of the season’s best-loved songs.
On Saturday, December 22nd at 4:00 p.m., Heirloom Meals Christmas celebrates the holidays by delving into America's rich and diverse culinary history and honoring tried-and-true recipes and dining traditions while paying tribute to the dying art of cooking from scratch. The Mexican-American tradition of making tamales on Christmas Eve is contrasted with the old-world Austrian-American custom of preparing a Christmas goose. The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass. exhibits works related to Charles Dickens and Christmas. Sustainable farming is explored in a chat with a cheese maker at Shelburne Farms in Vermont. To add to holiday cheer, the special also includes songs performed by world-renowned jazz singer and pianist Judy Carmichael in the comfort of Carole's home.
On Saturday, December 22nd, Dr. Who: Christmas Special premieres at 10:00 p.m. It's Christmas Eve, 1938, when Madge Arwell comes to the aid of an injured Spaceman Angel as she cycles home. He promises to repay her kindness—all she must do is make a wish. Three years later, a devastated Madge escapes war-torn London with her two children for a dilapidated house in Dorset. She is crippled with grief at the news her husband has been lost over the channel, but determined to give Lily and Cyril the best Christmas ever. The Arwells are surprised to be greeted by a madcap caretaker whose mysterious Christmas gift leads them into a magical wintry world. Here, Madge will learn how to be braver than she ever thought possible and that wishes can come true.
On Monday, December 24th, The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2012 premieres at 8:00 p.m. Celebrating its 90th year, the lighting of the National Christmas Tree signals the start of the holiday season across the country. Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, this special will feature performances and readings by James Taylor, Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Ledisi, The Fray, Phillip Phillips and Rico Rodriguez. The evening’s festivities will be capped off with the ceremonial lighting of the National Christmas Tree by the First Family.
On Friday, December 28th, American Masters premieres The Joffrey Ballet: Mavericks of American Dance at 9:00 p.m. Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino founded the first quintessentially American dance company and daringly combined modern and traditional techniques and art with social statement and integrated pop and rock music scores. The film features interviews with former and current Joffrey dancers, the breakthroughs of choreographers Twyla Tharp, Laura Dean and Margo Sappington, and rare archival performance footage, including excerpts from signature works Astarte, Trinity and Billboards. Mandy Patinkin narrates.
On Monday, December 31st, Live from the Lincoln Center: One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch premieres at 7:00 p.m. The New York Philharmonic rings in 2013 with this festive New Year’s Eve celebration, a perennial PBS tradition. This year features an all-star celebration of the life and work of Marvin Hamlisch.

13) Finally, the wildly popular Downton Abbey starts its new season January 6th at 8 p.m. Need I say more?

We at LPB wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and restful winter break. We will meet up with you again in the New Year.

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