Jaime, Matthew, Ava and Liam Faulhaber find something for everyone on Arizona PBS. Ava, age 10, is a big fan of “Odd Squad.” Her brother Liam, 7, loves “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” And “Wild Kratts” brings the siblings together.
“The only thing they can agree on is ‘Wild Kratts,’” said their mom, Jaime, with a chuckle.
Jaime and Matthew have fond memories of PBS KIDS shows themselves: “Sesame Street,” “3-2-1 Contact,” and “Reading Rainbow” all easily come to mind. And because Jaime and Matthew both grew up in Pittsburgh, they feel a special connection to Fred Rogers and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
“When he would go out and visit a factory, my parents would recognize where he was. The landmarks were familiar to us,” Matthew said. “And of course if he talked to firemen or policemen, their trucks and badges all said Pittsburgh.”
Jaime and Matthew first visited Phoenix when Jaime interviewed for a job at Boeing.
“We stayed in Old Town Scottsdale and we were so impressed by the weather,” Jaime remembered. “Then we went home, and had to dig our car out of the snow at the airport!”
They’ve been here ever since.
Matthew credits Jaime with the idea of donating to Arizona PBS.
“I could see the value of all the children’s programming on PBS,” Jaime says. “I could see they were learning. Plus, at the time there was concern that Congress would take away federal funding to PBS.”
Because her company offered to match charitable donations, she saw a way to make a significant impact.
The kids aren’t the only ones learning from Arizona PBS. Matthew said that a banana bread recipe from “America’s Test Kitchen” has become the family’s go-to: “It really packs as much banana flavor as possible into the loaf,” he said.
Another favorite show, “Rick Steves’ Europe,” inspired a family trip to Scotland a couple of years ago.
“The kids still talk about it all the time,” Jaime said, adding that she and Matthew were looking forward to seeing Rick Steves speak in Tempe this March.
Other favorites include “Plate & Pour,” “Frontline,” “Masterpiece” and Bob Ross’ “The Joy of Painting.”
“I’ve never broken out the paints to try it myself,” Jaime admitted, “but I just find him really soothing.”
Matthew and Jaime said that these days, they watch more PBS KIDS programs than adult shows. “We learn from them, too,” Matthew said, “I never knew that platypus had poison in their claws.”
Emotional awareness is something Jaime appreciates about current kids’ programs like “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” too.
“They really teach kids the importance of expressing your feelings,” she said.
By donating to Arizona PBS, the Faulhabers know that they’re not only helping their own children, but all the others who tune in.
“We know this reaches kids in underserved communities,” Matthew said. “We’re glad to be able to help those children, too.”