Note from QCMB: We love sharing stories and ideas that may help you as a parent. And today, we’re thrilled to share some thoughts from a local dad!

Thanks to Michael Carton, director of education and outreach for WQPT – Quad Cities PBS (and dad to Bubba),  for sharing this post about this amazing event that you won’t want to miss! 

If you missed Imagination Station last year, mark your calendars and get your tickets on March 1! 


Don’t Miss Imagination Station

If I asked you to think about the role of a television station, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is a favorite show you and your children watch at home. You might think about the team of people behind the camera who make these shows possible, and you might even know that stations host field trips for elementary students to give them a behind the scenes glimpse of the creation of television.
Most people don’t know that the role of WQPT-Quad Cities PBS extends well beyond the physical walls of the station by visiting more than 100 classrooms every year.

They don’t see what happens when we visit a classroom and bring PBS KIDS programming-based books to the students. I see it, though. I’m lucky enough to be the Director of Education for WQPT, and I get to see the excitement and joy on the students’ faces when I show them a book about Peg + Cat or Curious George. I see all their little hands shoot up when I ask them if they recognize Clifford the Big Red Dog. I see them go from sitting “crisscross applesauce” to bouncing on their knees when they get a glimpse of a book featuring Daniel Tiger.

I love seeing their enthusiasm for the shows we air, and it’s great to know that they’re watching educational programming – even though sometimes I wish they didn’t know ALL the characters! I always tell them, “If you know all of these characters, you’re probably watching too much TV!”

I get it, though. At this time of year, there aren’t always a lot of things for kids to do indoors that will hold their attention like a television. Luckily, it’s almost time for Imagination Station!

All those kids who are probably watching too much TV and know every show on WQPT will have the chance to meet their favorite characters when Imagination Station comes back to Western Illinois University – Quad Cities on Saturday, March 18. This year’s event will feature Mr. Steve and 10 different PBS KIDS characters:

* Arthur * Clifford the Big Red Dog * Daniel Tiger * Curious George * Peg (from Peg + Cat) * Cat (from Peg + Cat)
 * Jet Propulsion (from Ready Jet Go!)  * Nature Cat (from Nature Cat) * Super Why (from Super Why!)  * Princess Presto (from Super Why!) 

The event is completely FREE and offers a ton of educational activities for children in addition to hugging their favorite PBS KIDS character. Each character’s area will host at least 3 activities, including make-and-take crafts, gross motor skill activities, hands-on science activities, and more.

The free tickets are available online at  March 1, and they will go fast. Last year, we doubled the number of free tickets available and they “sold out” in less than 7 hours, so you’ll definitely want to get your tickets early on the morning of March 1.

If your child is anything like the thousands of kids I’ve met this past year, make sure you get tickets for WQPT’s Imagination Station! It’s a great day for your family to get out of the house, visit WQPT, and meet some of your favorite PBS KIDS characters!


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