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Rhea Gaynelle Sikes (1922-2019) was an educator and television producer, professionally active from 1957 through 1980. Sikes specialized in instructional television programming for adults and children during her tenure at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), including programs for local stations WQED and WNET (PBS). The collection includes photographs of Rhea Sikes, internal reports and publications on educational programming, and her independent consulting work between 1978 and 1980.
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6.00 Linear Feet (4 record storage containers)
Rhea Sikes was an educator and producer who specialized in instructional television programming during her twenty-five years in educational television. This accession consists of internal photographs, reports, publications, and publications relating to Sikes' career at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and indepedent consulting as a producer ofproducing adult and children's educational television programs.
Rhea Sikes was an educator and producer who specialized in instructional programming during her twenty-five years in educational television. She joined the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1973 as the first coordinator of educations services. Representing the PBS Programming Department and member PBS stations, Sikes directed the review, evaluation, and coordination of informational and educational programming presented to both general and classroom audiences.
Prior to joining PBS, Sikes was director of educational services for WQED in Pittsburgh, PA. Established on April 1, 1954, WQED was the first community-sponsored television station in the United States as well as the fifth public television station. Sikes served as assistant program manager, producer, and executive producer for educational programming. When WQED also became the first station to telecast classes to elementary school classrooms, she produced the first programs for the Metropolitan School Service in 1955. She supervised the growth of WQED's instructional television service for many years. At the same time, she participated in the planning and encouragement of instructional television in Pennsylvania and in the wider Eastern Educational Network.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina Women's College (now UNC-Greensboro), Sikes received her master's degree in television from Syracuse University in 1954. She worked for WFMY-TV in Greensboro, NC – a commercial station and CBS affiliate – before joining WQED. In her early career, she travelled extensively throughout the United States presenting visual educational programs for the Good Teeth Council.
Sikes received a George Peabody Award for television education in 1971. In that same year she also received the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Community Service Award. In 1974, she received a citation for contributions to the advancement of education from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Sikes left PBS in 1978 to become an independent consultant.
This collection is arranged in the following four series by subject:
Betty Shellswick, who maintained Rhea Sikes' papers after Sikes' passing, prepared the materials for delivery to the University Libraries. Carol Meyer resided in the house where the materials were housed and donated this collection to the University of Maryland Libraries on November 28, 2017.
This collection has been minimally processed. Aside from some rough groupings of similar material, the collection came to the Libraries in no particular order. The processing archivist loosely arranged files into separate series, however, there is overlap among the series. In most cases, materials have not been grouped chronologically. The original folders were replaced with acid-free folders. Photographs were separated from non-photographic materials.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives