Canada announced as new PBS commission member

Miranda Holman
Paris Express

Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently announced that Anne Canada, librarian at Paris Middle School, has been appointed to the Arkansas PBS Commission.

Canada of Subiaco previously served as a literacy teacher and an elementary classroom teacher, all with the Paris School District. Canada is an Arkansas Declaration of Learning Best of the Best Teacher.

"It is a great pleasure to welcome our new members of the Arkansas PBS Commission," Arkansas PBS Executive Director and CEO Courtney Pledger said. "We look forward to the expertise and direction they will provide.

Of the eight Arkansas PBS Commissioners, one is required from each state's four congressional districts, with one involved in the Arkansas public school system, and one from higher education. A commissioner's role is that of a citizen representative responsible for the oversight of the statewide public media network.

"I am excited to share the news that I have been appointed by the governor to serve on the Arkansas PBS Commission. My inaugural Commission meeting took place in late June. I am honored to represent Arkansas public schools in this way," said Canada.

A librarian's role is one of support, said Canada, who provides resources to learners and helps to grow curiosity and empower students. AR PBS serves in a supportive role to the people of Arkansas.

"When COVID closed our schools and thousands of students in Arkansas were left with no technological option of instruction, AR PBS stepped up producing eight weeks of original programming for grades pre-k-2, 3-5, 6-8, and they did it while working remotely!"

Canada said that PBS pivoted in days to work with the Arkansas Department of Education to make sure the content was appropriate and standards-based and engaging with supplemental educational support online.

"The volume of work and the ingenuity of the AR PBS team to produce it speak to their value to our state. I'm incredibly proud of being selected."

Canada said as a commissioner of AR PBS, it is her responsibility, first of all, to become familiar with the vision, goals and work of this public entity and to meet with fellow commissioners to oversee and give advice on initiatives, direction, and budgetary allocations during regular meetings.

"Reading over my first meeting report and listening to the impressive work of this past spring, I am very proud to serve in this capacity and look forward to learning and advocating along the way."

Canada has the perspective of a 20 -plus year educator who has worked with students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. As president of the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media (AAIM), the professional organization for Arkansas school librarians, she is in constant communication with educators from Stuttgart to Bentonville to West Memphis to Mena to Hope and all points in between.

"I didn't realize it prior to beginning this work, but PBS originally began as a way to bring "the classroom" into the living room. Education is still very much at the core of the mission of AR PBS. Large schools and small schools, I have a perspective that continues to grow and I will be a voice for public educators on the commission."

Canada said this opportunity would allow her to have a front-row seat to what is available not only on AR PBS television stations but also on other platforms like the AR PBS app, their YouTube channel and online.

"I will take these resources directly to students and staff. Conversely, I can share some of the things going on at the Paris School District with the members of the AR PBS team. Who knows? Maybe some opportunities will result for the youth of our community."

Arkansas PBS is Arkansas's only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. Arkansas PBS delivers daily, essential, local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through multiple digital platforms, including on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming.

Her term on the commission expires March 23, 2027.