2013 GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY AWARD
Nominated by Bea Brasel
WQPT Special Projects Coordinator
WQPT has gone through many changes in the past 3 years. The station changed license holders, had the staff cut from 20 to 10, moved administrative offices twice and experienced a vacancy in the position of General Manager vacancy since July, 2012. In addition, they were facing financially difficult times. The station needed advocates more than ever. While WQPT has a wonderful volunteer board and WQPT volunteers, there is no other group more deserving of the Grassroots Advocacy Award than the WQPT-PBS Ambassadors.
WQPT understands the importance of being active in the community and that it can be difficult to do so with a very small staff. WQPT relies on Student Ambassadors to represent WQPT in its community to build reading, science and math skills through WQPT programming. The Student Ambassadors bring the best resources from PBS Kids to the Quad City region through workshops, school visits, library activities and special events. These resources provide support for parents, teachers and caregivers who touch the lives of children and strengthen the community's future.
Student ambassadors are volunteers who serve without compensation and are drawn from all academic disciplines and class years. Ambassadors are selected through a process that includes an application accompanied by two letters of recommendation, an interview, security background checks and approval from WQPT staff. Attempts are made to recruit students from the bi-state area of Illinois and Iowa. Students remain in the program until their graduation unless they subsequently choose to resign or are asked to leave for engaging in inappropriate conduct.
The WQPT-PBS Ambassador Program was established in 2005 to give college students an opportunity to represent public television throughout Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.
An important role of the WQPT Ambassadors is to participate in community outreach efforts in the Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa area. Some of the activities that Student Ambassadors participated in over the year include:
• Visited three animal shelters in 3 counties and presented fun and educational activities based on "Martha Speaks."
• Presented fun activities during week-long "Martha Speaks" events at local libraries, Head Start pre-school classrooms and a WQPT Kids Club party.
• Presented fun "Curious George" science activities at a Healthy Expo attended by 2,000 people in Davenport, IA.
• Educational activities at Blossoms at Butterworth in Moline, IL
• Fun educational activities for children at the Summer Ice Cream Social in Geneseo, IL
• Fun educational activities for children at "Movie on the Lawn" in Rock Island, IL
• Passed out hundreds of books at Reading Adventures in Davenport, IA
Not only do the ambassadors represent WQPT in the community, but they also assist in WQPT fundraising efforts by participating in:
• Helped raise funds at WQPT "Taste of PBS"
• Spent long hours at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, IL manning the WQPT concession stand.
• Answered phones, tallied results and ran cameras at WQPT Live Pledge nights.
• Participated in WQPT's largest fundraiser of the year, "Champagne on the Rocks" gala.
• Collected donations in the community through a donation jar at various community events.
Click here to see photographs of WQPT-PBS Ambassadors in action.
Click here for further information about the WQPT-PBS Ambassadors