Tucson, AZ – May 4, 2011 –

JES & Co announced today that they have joined forces with the Oprah Winfrey show and WGBH in support of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides in 1961. Oprah will dedicate her entire show today to honor the Riders by inviting all living participants in the original Freedom Rides to Chicago for a taping of the show. The original Riders will be joined by five participants in the 2011 Student Freedom Ride, who will recreate the seminal 1961 civil rights milestone from 5/6 to 5/16.

As part of the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE films, WGBH will air the Freedom Riders on Monday, 5/16 at 9pm on PBS. More than 400 Americans risked their lives as Freedom Riders in the summer of 1961, deliberately violating Jim Crow laws in the Deep South.

WGBH in Boston (www.wgbh.org ) is proud to be PBS’s single largest producer of web and TV content. PBS has made free learning resources available for many of its educational programs targeting both children and adult audiences. Working with the Gateway to 21st Century Skills (Gateway) staff, the WGBH team has submitted the PBS educational materials into the Gateway digital library, making them immediately available to the more than 3.2 million teachers and parents that use the Gateway on a regular basis. You can find the resources on the Gateway at www.thegateway.org. Next week, our Gateway team will be featuring education resources dedicated to the Freedom Riders from WGBH. Watch for Joann’s Picks on the Gateway homepage as she will feature some unique resources to help teachers introduce Freedom Riders. Her column will explain the value of the featured resources and will provide links. Next week’s edition of Peggy’s Corner will be next to Joann’s Picks on the Gateway homepage and will discuss strategies for effectively using documentaries like these to supplement and enhance the curriculum.

About the Gateway to 21st Century Skills

The Gateway to 21st Century Skills (the Gateway) has been serving teachers continuously since 1996. The Gateway contains over 50,000 educational resources and all resources are provided at no cost to educators and parents. The Gateway is sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA).

About JES & Co.

JES & Co., a publicly funded 501(c) (3) education research organization, is a leader in research and deployment of education programs based on open standards. With 20 years of experience in interoperability and portability of educational resources, organizations around the world come to JES & Co. for leadership and guidance on education programs and initiatives. Since its establishment in the early 1990s, JES & Co. has led and managed The Achievement Standards Network (ASN), The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, The Gateway to 21st Century Skills (formerly known as GEM), the Dell Academy, the Intel Student Certification Program, and Microsoft’s Partners in Learning. For more information about JES & Co. or the Global Learning Resource Connection, visit www.JESandCo.org.

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