Making a Difference:
KET EncycloMedia

To provide the same experiences and resources, the avenue for us was going to be Kentucky Educational Television.

Diane Woods-Ayers

School Superintendent, Campbellsville

Students in Campbellsville Independent Schools have the best of both worlds, thanks to KET, says Superintendent Diane Woods-Ayers. Big-city advantages right in the middle of small-town charm.

“Children in Campbellsville deserve the same level of resources as children in any other part of the state,” said Woods-Ayers, a former science teacher and high-school principal who came to Campbellsville from her position as director of middle schools in Fayette County. “KET is one way to get it.”

In Lexington KET was one of many resources, while in Campbellsville, she says, it is the resource. That fact was no secret to educators there, she said.

“When I came to my present assignment, I thought about the phrase my grandmother used to say—‘You don’t miss the water until the well runs dry,’” she said.

“It became very apparent that the well was not very deep as far as resources. But I’m a quick study, and I quickly learned what the people in the district already knew: to provide the same experiences and resources, the avenue for us was going to be Kentucky Educational Television.”

With just 1,500 students and three school buildings, far from the myriad cultural and enrichment opportunities of urban life, Campbellsville Independent teachers utilize resources such as KET EncycloMedia as effortlessly as they reach for chalk at the blackboard, says Woods-Ayers.

“In a unit on Native Americans, the students were able to actually get clips of them, showing how they went about their daily activities and put them in their movie,” she said.

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“It was really neat to watch them and when I said, ‘where did you get this?’ they said, ‘EncycloMedia!’ and looked at me like I had two heads. Of course they got it from KET EncycloMedia.”

KET’s value is readily apparent at Campbellsville Independent’s alternative school, Woods-Ayers said, where the goal is to get student achievement back on track as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

“The teachers make sure the lessons are creative, exciting, and innovative for those students,” she said. “It’s not just the teacher up in front teaching the class, but he’s bringing in KET EncycloMedia clips, he’s using many different programs—so that they can actually experience, in a more comprehensive curriculum, what it is they need to learn.

“Anytime I’ve got a program where I’m going to accelerate a student, to get them back where they need to be, I’ve got to have a lot of good resources to back up that acceleration,” she added.

From the latest technology KET offers, to traditional instructional television programs and professional development—not to mention KET’s extensive roster of materials to serve learners of all ages—the entire Campbellsville community can make use of KET in their daily lives, Woods-Ayers notes.

“We want our children to be lifelong learners—and that’s what we are about in this school system,” she said. “Whether it be a GED program, completing some basic education requirements, or if someone just wants to expand their knowledge in a particular subject or learn about different kinds of cultures, KET has the ability to physically do this.”

Additionally, Woods-Ayers emphasizes that it is educators’ trust in KET which makes it so invaluable.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to use our resources more effectively and more efficiently to improve student achievement—that’s our bottom line here. There’s no better way for us to do that than to use materials from KET that we trust,” she said.

“They know the best practices, the latest research, and all we have to do, like with the computer, is just drag and click. Click on that web site. Look at that program guide and see what’s available.

“We don’t have to spend resources on a district materials center. We’ve got one at the state level, KET, that’s constantly updated, that we have equal access to.”