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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


WGCU-TV, Renaissance Academy Launch New Intellectual Series; National Center for Outreach Awards $12,000 Toward Project

FORT MYERS, FL - This summer, Florida Gulf Coast University’s WGCU-TV PBS/3 and Renaissance Academy will launch the WGCU Renaissance Academy Series, funded in part by a $12,000 Connector Grant from the National Center for Outreach.

The quarterly series will select national PBS and local programs to use as the intellectual foundation for area lectures, discussions and field trips, which will be given a community angle utilizing demographics such as geography, age and personal history.

Residents who like to think, discuss, debate and create will benefit from the Series and will receive opportunities to contribute to group discussions with speakers and moderators.

Sessions will be offered at FGCU and the FGCU Naples Center. Accompanying materials related to each program’s topic are included in session registration.

Selected topics will focus on the area’s increasing population of people in their 40s and older, and new residents who relocate to the WGCU and Renaissance Academy markets every month.

“Residents frequently move to this area leaving their long-term resources and support groups behind,” dean of Instructional Technology and Broadcast Services Kathleen Davey said.

“Offering sessions such as the Health Sense discussions helps them to locate local resources and meet people with similar concerns. The sessions based on Journey to Planet Earth and A Sacred Balance should appeal to both longtime residents and those new residents who frequently know little about the importance of the local environment.”

Administrators at both WGCU and the Renaissance Academy are excited about the project and the outcome that can be achieved with their respective markets in Southwest Florida.

“The FGCU Renaissance Academy and WGCU both serve an audience that wants to learn and to think. I am very pleased to join WGCU in this outreach grant to expand our offerings to the community and to bring such quality intellectual opportunities to them,” dean of Graduate Studies and Continual Learning Jack Crocker said.

In addition, Davey said, “The success of this collaborative project can result in a national model for public television stations to improve their educational community outreach in concert with life-long programs.”

WGCU, a service of FGCU, advocates the enrichment of life through arts, children’s, educational, informational and public affairs programming, and community outreach. The station serves 385,000 households in the six-county area.

FGCU created the Renaissance Academy on the premise that learning should never stop and that keeping the mind intellectually, creatively and culturally active fundamentally enhances the quality of life.

The goal of the National Center for Outreach is to assist public television stations to provide meaningful outreach to local communities.

For more information about the series, contact WGCU-TV Outreach and Ready to Learn coordinator Paula Sklodowski at (239) 590-2510 or .

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