Local mom speaks out about federal, state cuts to public broadcasting

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“Well, if they’re gonna be watching TV, they might as well be learning at the same time,” she says.

Anna Thompson’s the mother of two-and-a-half-year-old twins, Ruby and Jack. She’s not only a mom, but a child therapist who sees the need for the programs that her children love so dearly.

“Letter of the day was Jack’s favorite song when he was really little,” says Thompson, refering to a popular Sesame Street segment.

“As a counselor, PBS is relevant for many reason One of the things that PBS provides at the counseling conference is DVDs and books for kids on things like divorce, parental incarceration, grief and I use those in my counseling practice as well,” says Thompson.

Now, those resources are in jeopardy on the federal and state level. The president of Prairie Public testified before the state senate this week, pleading with legislators to restore the half million dollars cut from their budget.

“It would undermine all the opportunities for us to do the things we’re doing as far as providing free over the air services, with our educational efforts with our entertainment programs, our documentaries and things,” says John Harris, President of Prairie Public Broadcasting.

President Trump’s plan adds insult to injury. It would TERMINATE 445 MILLION IN ANNUAL FUNDING FOR THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING. That would cut up to 17-percent more of Prairie Public’s budget.

“It would be devastating and it would be very hard to recover from that,” says Harris.

Luckily, Sesame Street is now produced by a cable company, but for those who don’t have or choose not to have cable, the free episodes that still air on PBS won’t be available.

“A lot of things just kind of deal with emotions that I think are important to all kids, and it’s accessible to all income levels,” says Thompson. 

Elmo is safe, but other educational shows and state programs still in real trouble.

“The different that Sesame Street teaches are very relevant. How to be a good friend how to share,” she says.

Though it is not unusual for a president to include public broadcasting in the budget, Prairie Public says it’s accounts for just point-1-percent of savings for the federal budget.

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