Gov. Whitmer and Michigan Community Service Commission recognize Detroit PBS's excellence in children’s education programming and community engagement

DETROIT (July 26, 2019) – Today Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Detroit PBS as the winner of a 2019 Governor’s Service Award as an Education Service Leader for its work in early childhood education, providing parents, educators and other caregivers with the skills and resources they need to prepare children for school and life.

Gov. Whitmer and the Michigan Community Service Commission selected 43 service award winners this year, which included individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations selected for their commitment to volunteerism, service or philanthropy.

“We are extremely proud that our work in early childhood education has been honored by Gov. Whitmer and the Michigan Community Service Commission,” Detroit PBS President and CEO Rich Homberg said. “We have striven to build strong, effective partnerships throughout the education community with people who are as motivated as we are to make a difference in the lives of young children. We believe we share this award with all the engaged parents and educators who have joined us in this crucial mission.

“We also want to thank the Hope Starts Here initiative in Detroit for doing so much to organize the community to support early childhood education as well as Michigan State University and the team at PBS Kids for helping us every step of the way.”

Detroit PBS was recognized for its commitment to supporting the education of children in Southeast Michigan, both through television programming and through a variety of in-person and virtual reality learning opportunities. Its Detroit PBS Kids Channel launched in 2017 provides high quality, curriculum-based educational programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It continues to be among the highest rated Kids Channels in the Public Broadcasting System, especially popular in diverse and economically deprived communities.

Detroit PBS also supports parents and caregivers of young learners through its nationally acclaimed Pre-School-U program, a series of workshops promoting school readiness through fun, everyday activities that can be pursued at home. This year Detroit PBS's education team has been especially active in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood, training educators in how to conduct their own Pre-School-U sessions for parents and caregivers.

“The progress we have made in working with the Brightmoor community has been outstanding,” Georgeann Herbert, senior vice president of strategy at Detroit PBS, said. “Not only did the station learn a lot from the people it serves, the work has been credited with changing community attitudes, giving families hope and energizing educators.”

In announcing the Service Awards, Gov. Whitmer said, “Our state is lucky to have such outstanding Michiganders who work hard every single day to build a home for opportunity for everyone. Whether it’s uplifting our neighborhoods or bringing communities together when tragedy strikes, they do this work even when nobody’s looking because they know that every contribution makes a huge impact.”

The Governor’s Service Awards winners will be honored during a special ceremony hosted by the Michigan Community Service Commission at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Detroit Opera House. Admission is free, but registration is required. To register, visit

The Governor’s Service Awards

The Governor’s Service Awards ceremony is an annual statewide recognition event acknowledging the contributions made by Michigan volunteers. The event is coordinated by the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC), the state’s lead agency on volunteerism. The MCSC strives to engage all Michigan residents in volunteerism to address critical community challenges. For more information, visit

About Detroit PBS

Detroit PBS  is Michigan’s only community-licensed public television station, operating entirely independent of any educational institution or governmental entity.  Its funding comes from the community it serves. With more than 2 million weekly viewers across its four channels, Detroit PBS is the state’s largest and most watched public television station, as well as having the most diverse public television audience in America. In addition, another 90,000 visit its website each week for videos, blogs, photo galleries and other content. Detroit PBS also manages WRCJ 90.9 FM, Detroit’s classical and jazz radio station, which reaches nearly 200,000 listeners each week over the air or on digital devices. Detroit PBS is licensed to the Detroit Public Media and governed by a volunteer board of trustees from the local business, civic and cultural communities.