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SLB Radio Productions, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Education, Radio, Youth Development

Mission: SLB Radio Productions amplifies youth voice and the voices of those who are otherwise marginalized. We believe in radio and audio because these technologies enable a sense of intimacy, engagement and self-directed imagination that is often lacking in other media, while also promoting opportunities for privacy, equal access, and sharpening of important life skills.

Results: SLB began pursuing its mission in 1978 with creation of The Saturday Light Brigade, a Saturday morning public radio program that blends acoustic music, live performance by youth and adults, participatory puzzles, on-air telephone calls, and interviews with other community-based nonprofits serving youth and families. Founded by Larry Berger as a teenager, The Saturday Light Brigade name grew out of a brainstorming session. The goals of the show were for it to be light-hearted and to provide a sense of belonging as in a brigade. The world of SLB is gentle, inclusive, trusting, and approachable and the show is carried out in a way that promotes belonging and respectful treatment. Through 2000, programming grew substantially as SLB expanded technical and self-expression workshops for children and built a strong, loyal audience. Over this 22-year period, SLB was recognized with 10 local, state, and national awards, and transitioned from an all-volunteer organization to a 501(c)(3) with Mr. Berger becoming the Executive Director. In 2001, SLB entered into an agreement with Children's Museum of Pittsburgh to locate operations within the museum. SLB opened its new $250,000 studio and training complex in 2004. This complex has since emerged as a hub of community and educational activity. Throughout our history, we have emphasized developing and retaining a strong and diverse staff, creating innovative service delivery methods, and seeking powerful collaborations. Our work today focuses on (1) creating and distributing public radio programming, (2) designing and leading project-based learning programs in schools and community centers, (3) oral history collection and dissemination, (4) youth advocacy, and (5) youth journalism and youth radio. SLB has long been recognized for our innovative approach to delivering world-class programming. Our educational programs are designed to promote verbal literacy, active listening, respect of others, empathy, imagination, creative expression, critical thinking, confidence, cooperation, technical curiosity, and engagement skills. Radio is a tremendous equalizer and allows all to participate regardless of physical capability or appearance. Students involved in SLB educational programming also learn about microphones, mixers, digital recording, and other technical/STEM aspects of audio, helping to bridge the digital divide.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Our flagship program, The Saturday Light Brigade radio show, broadcasts each Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to Noon, Reaching approximately 60,000 households each week and a virtually unlimited number of listeners worldwide through slbradio.org and our online streaming affiliates, the show is one of the longest-running public radio programs in the country. Through traditional broadcasts on seven affiliates, covering 15 Pennsylvania counties and portions of Ohio, Arizona, and South Carolina along with online streaming, the talents of Pittsburghers (primarily youth) are shared. Over 10,000 students from approximately 42 schools and community centers engage in radio and audio project based learning programs yearly. Based on the age-old process of people learning from one another, SLB has published over 250 oral histories.

Geographic areas served: Western Pennsylvania

Programs: The Saturday Light Brigade Radio Show; Project Based Audio & Radio Education Programs; Oral History Projects; and Youth Voice & Journalism through projects such as Youth Express, Pittsburgh Youth Media, and Youth Media Advocacy Program (YMAP)

Community Stories

192 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

an invaluable treasure in Pittsburgh doing important and interesting work.

collfee

Donor

Rating: 5

The entire team at SLB is exceptional. They are master craftsmen and we are fortunate to have them in our region

Previous Stories

Advisor

Rating: 5

We worked with the Teens to help them fully engage with the adults they were interviewing

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SLB is a great program. I've listened to and witnessed their work with kids. Larry and his team are truly committed to area youth. We're fortunate to have this program in Pittsburgh.

Olivia Burella H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family visited the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh yesterday and found the radio station occupied. My son has special needs and he is obsessed with music. He was so thrilled to check out all the equipment and see how the buttons let him control what happened. The Executive Director was so patient and super nice to Owen. Even at places designed for children, like the children's museum, sometimes it's hard to find things that he can do because of poor fine motor skills and low muscle tone. It was awesome to find something that not only interested Owen but that allowed him to succeed in doing something he enjoys.

Colin O.

Client Served

Rating: 5

SLB and Larry Berger are a delight and provide a great service for Pittsburgh and beyond!

Maureen K. P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a gem for Pittsburgh! From provoking kids' laughter to offering teen radio programs to provoking adult inspiration, the SLB team are a blessing to all of us.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SLB does a wonderful job of creating community over the radio. I love the music and the puzzles. I have learned about so many great singers/songwriters and bands I never would have found elsewhere. SLB also provides a great way for nonprofit organizations to share information about their events with the community. Also, I love the oral histories it preserves.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

"Saturday Light Brigade" has broadened my horizons by introducing me to music I otherwise would not have heard and community groups and events I otherwise would not have known existed.

The radio show is a wonderful community resource that Pittsburgh is lucky to have, and SLB Radio Productions Inc. also has several programs to help youths learn how to communicate better, which gives them important skills.

Brian H.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great non profit that brings the community together through stories, music, and games!

Rosa C.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SLB does a wonderful job highlighting local musicians, encouraging students in their learning initiatives and supporting other non-profits.

Linda M.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We’ve been listening to SLB for around 30 years . It’s what gets our weekends started. Larry does such a tremendous job of keeping us entertained. We love it

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SLB is a great non-profit radio station. its good clean entertainment . We've been listening for so many years its hard to believe. My granddaughter was born in 1993 and we were listening then and I think even before. Its a great feel good radio station. Love it

Mike M.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SLB provides an avenue for a variety of talented young musicians to perform before the Greater Pittsburgh audience. No local mass media show allows such a broad swath of young performers to display their talents. It is an invaluable addition to regional radio programming!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A jewel of community radio! SLB has produced quality programming for nearly four decades, notably providing local youth a chance to display their talent to the Tri-State area. Larry Berger is to be commended for his decades-long commitment to SLB!

Beckyphil F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our family of 4 parents of 2 children discovered Saturday Light Brigade at least 30 years ago. We listened, played games solved puzzles and even phoned in answers. SLB is a valuable resource! It was entrenched into our weekend activities.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SLB Radio has been providing upbeat and family-friendly radio programming on Saturday mornings for many years. As one of the few positive non-political talk radio programs available, it is a joyful listen and a breath of fresh air. I and many many others in our community appreciate the work they do. If you have not heard the program, please tune in and discover this gem for yourself!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SLB is an essential fixture on the western Pennsylvania radio dial. It is community radio at its very best, bringing together adults, children and families for word games, trivia, entertaining stories, local events, live music -- and especially raising up the talents and accomplishments of youth. Larry Berger and SLB are a treasure.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Saturday Light Brigade (SLB) is part of the warp and weft of the music, education and family scenes in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. Part silly puzzle show, part interview show, part showcase for music and the arts from the live to the obscure, SLB helps to create and enhance healthy & intelligent family community. I can't think of another show like it, except maybe Garrison Kiellor's local radio show that I used to listen to years ago in Minnesota, before A Prarie Home Companion became a national phenomenon. PHC retains some of that flavor, but due to its sheer size it can't match SLB in being a part of a living person-to-person community. SLB is truly a treasure.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I’ve been listening to the Saturday Light Brigade since I was too young to remember! My mom and I always loved participating in the games and puzzles, plus enjoying the awesome music that you wouldn’t typically hear on a radio show. Even after I grew up and moved out of my mom’s house, this show still closes the distance between us as we always listen on SLB on Saturday - it’s the show that gets your weekend off to a great start!

Client Served

Rating: 5

In a world so full of negativity SLB pours positive energy into my soul.

Galadriel G.

Donor

Rating: 5

SLB is an important part of our Saturday mornings. We love to play the games along with our kids and we enjoy listening to music, much of which is new to us. Since moving out of state we've been able to hold on to our Pittsburgh roots through such wonderful programming. SLB is a part of our family and always has been.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

My parents first started listening to SLB around the time I was born in 1978 and though they didn't participate, we all had fun listening when we could get it tuned in. Since having a family of my own, and the advances of technology, we've been able to listen and participate more with the puzzles and games, even after moving a few states away. We love SLB because, not only do they have quality family programming and a positive impact on the community, but they take the time to give everyone special attention and allow artists, no matter their age, to show their skills and talents. SLB adds a richness to our lives through music that we may have not otherwise known about. They also enhance our children's education through learning about history and community. SLB always gets our weekend off to a great start!

philomena

Donor

Rating: 5

SLB is a wonderful family oriented interactive program. The music, quizzes, games and live performances are always a way to challenge all ages to engage together every Saturday morning. The Saturday Light Brigade is a must do every Saturday morning and visits to the studio are always memorable. This program is just another gem in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. The Krhovsky household has been listening and sharing for years and years. Thank you for always being there!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

SLB radio is a family program every Saturday morning for six wonderful hours! Our family started listening over 20 years ago, when the boys were young and we were in the car on our way to their soccer games. The program would engage everyone to put on their thinking caps with the different puzzles and games and the music was and always has been appropriate to the family and the season. Now this great show can be heard around the world via the internet. Thanks for all your hard work to Larry, Rikki and crew! Love YOU! Philomena, John and Sons

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SLB Radio is an outstanding program that is entirely unique and intriguing. The puzzles, games, candid interviews and eclectic musical features make this one-of-a-kind broadcast such a treat for fans of radio. My family and I feel very lucky to have and be a part of this local program. We listen every week and look forward to participating in the games, solving puzzles, and being introduced to wholly unique musical pieces that we would otherwise go unaware of. Thank you, SLB, for your continued work on such a gem.

Margaret S.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I’ve been listening to the radio program for years! But they also do good work in the community gathering stories and giving a voice to people whose stories need to be heard.