The Better Angels Society is seeking $125,000 to support PBS LearningMedia in creating and sharing additional educational materials for Benjamin Franklin, a documentary film from the award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns.
In November 2019, PBS launched the Ken Burns in the Classroom hub on its PBS LearningMedia (PBSLM) platform. Since the launch, the Ken Burns Classroom resources have seen more than 1,086,695 page views and 499,010 unique visitors, and the Classroom landing page has consistently been in the top ten most visited pages on the PBS LearningMedia platform each week. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, PBSLM has been serving even more educators, families, and students in this time of need. In March 2020, overall platform traffic more than doubled year-over-year to 2.5 million unique visitors.
As teachers transition to virtual learning in the wake of school closures due to the pandemic, many have written to us specifically requesting Ken Burns content. Ken Burns and Florentine Films’ body of work highlights enduring values of character and agency and has motivated generations of Americans to both focus on those things we share in common, as well as celebrate and inspire a deeper understanding of our differences—at the highest level of civic engagement. These messages are more critical now than ever, and will continue to be as our country grapples with the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming years, and the struggle to address systemic racism in the United States