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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

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donald29

Donor

Rating: 5

Saturday Light Brigade has been a part of our Saturday morning for years. Although we don't have children of our own, as teachers we find a deep appreciation for what SLB represents to families throughout the area. This program treats children with great respect and showcases their many talents. It represents a wholesome and fun activity time that encourages everyone to think and share. We believe that SLB demonstrates what a powerful media radio can be.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Saturday Light Brigade brings high quality to children and families. It always treats children with respect and highlights talents.

Scott R.1

Donor

Rating: 5

SLB radio has been part of our lives for 30 years. We love the games, the family atmosphere, the interviews, the music, the community, everything about the show. I've lived all over the country and there is nothing else like this show.

Donor

Rating: 5

SLB Radio is an incredible community asset. Their work to help young people use their voice, tell their story, and learn from others is unparalleled. Thank you to the entire SLB team for their work throughout the region.

Previous Stories
4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SLB Radio Productions is a true community partner and community champion. They are a voice for big and small; a resource for people of all ages. Through their amazing strategic growth, they have been able to maintain the personal touch. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with them to serve young people in our community.....and grateful for their programming which I listen to and enjoy very much!

Donor

Rating: 5

I am writing this on behalf of my husband who never misses this radio program. He gets up extra early every Saturday to listen and participate in the riddles and other challenging trivia. Even when we go out of town, he takes his laptop along, gets up early and tunes in! He has been a faithful follower for years. We both enjoy the unique music selections! Sometimes we solve puzzles together. He has even gotten our grandkids involved while visiting. Saturday Light Brigade is to Saturdays as church is to Sundays at our house! We are listeners and supporters. Thank you for this amazing production!

Sharon
Apollo, PA

Bruce36

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Saturday Light Brigade is truly a shining star!! The work that Larry and Rikki and their folks do in Western Pennsylvania and beyond reminds us that there is so much good going on in the world, so much of it being contributed by young people! Inspiring to see and hear!!

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

SLB provides unique opportunities for youth to learn the art of audio. It provides an outlet for writers, musicians, and actors to share their talents. It gives a voice to organizations that might not otherwise be heard. I am not aware of anything that operates quite like SLB.

Donor

Rating: 5

SLB Radio has done great work teaching children and youth how to share their stories through the medium of radio. SLB staff is highly skilled and knows how to work effectively with children and youth. I particularly enjoy the Green Compass and Crossing Fences projects. (Full disclosure - I work for a foundation that supported those projects.)

Donor

Rating: 5

SLB Radio is an amazing non-profit that really understands what "grass roots" means. It encourages participation at every level, and diversity of viewpoints and content creators isn't just a line in their mission statement -- it's something they live. And along the way, they create great, entertaining local content.

Long may Larry, Rikki and their crew thrive!

Galadriel G.

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!

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a listener, participant, and donor to the Saturday Light Brigade for over 15 years. Larry and Rikki and the staff have created a fun and inclusive place to be every Saturday morning. Anyone is welcome to call in, be it a puzzle, a question, or to just talk, but it is not a talk show. It's a community. There really is nothing like it on the air, anywhere else, that I am aware of. Well beyond that, SLB goes out into the community to foster creative projects in schools and community centers, often but not always focusing on youth. At the studio, during the weekly six-hour show, local talent, both adults and children, get to show off on live radio in a welcoming environment. I don't know what else to say about SLB except that everything about it radiates positivity, and we need lots more of that.

philomena

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

Previous Stories
11

Donor

Rating: 5

When our children were young, we discovered SLB radio while on our way to visit their grandparents. We loved the games and we made it a family competion to come up with the correct answers. We soon were looking forward to the amusing tunes and games each weekend. Finally someone decided to join in and call in our answers. On one occasion, our correct answer gave us tickets to a viewing of a movie hosted by SLB, at the Oaks theatre in Oakmont Pa. Everyone there were SLB winners and we all got to meet the host, Larry! This event was an opportune to introduce friends to SLB. When SLB could be connected to through the internet, I informed out of state, family members to tune in on Saturday mornings. SLB is now listened to, shared and enjoyed around the globe. It's great to hear the up and coming young talent of school children, while they learn about radio.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SLB radio is one of the best things about Pittsburgh. From their start playing great music and family-friendly trivia, they have added community interviews, live youth music segments, and tremendous work in local schools. Always positive, always uplifting of children, always growing in creative new directions. My daughters grew up on this show, and it strengthened us as a family.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I have listened to this radio show since it started, and watch it grow from a small hobby to a well organized and effective educational organization, focused especially on the children of the Pittsburgh region. They go out of their way to help boost other Pittsburgh organizations, and their excellent work in the schools both empowers and educates children.

Donor

Rating: 5

SLB is an invaluable community asset for the children and families of Pittsburgh! Their weekly radio show continues the tradition of quality family entertainment that is not only enjoyable by all members of the family, but also educational, information, and engaging. Not just that, SLB's community outreach programs help empower children, youth, teens, and adults by putting the power of media into their hands, letting them tell their own stories, the stories of their communities, and create connections to others. Pittsburgh wouldn't be the same without SLB.

Donor

Rating: 5

SLB staff and leadership is really effective in working with youth, particularly teens. SLB empowers the youth it works with by providing them with the skills, training and equipment that they need to develop and create compelling audio narratives. SLB is great at amplifying the voice of youth in Pittsburgh.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a faithful listener of SLB Radio's The Saturday Light Brigade since its inception. I don't call in very often (my cal-in name is "John in Lincoln Place"), usually only when one of the games has most of the listeners stumped and I think I know what the answer is. But I really enjoy just listening to the music, interviews, stories, and general chit-chat with other listeners. When SLB Radio moved from one radio station to another a few years back, I was afraid the quality of the programming would deteriorate. Thanks to the new station, however, the programming expanded from 2 hours to 6, allowing for more, and better, of everything. In an age when politically-oriented and hate-filled diatribes dominate the airwaves, it is important to have family-oriented shows such as The Saturday Light Brigade on the air and internet to bring a few calm, relaxing, fun-filled, and - yes, loving! - hours to the hectic week. This show is definitely worth keeping. Please donate to make sure it stays on the air.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Bergers have been supportive of many community endeavors throughout the years. Not only through their own show but also through promotion of worthwhile community events.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

Committed listener and occasional caller. I like personal, local approach and the interesting local music groups that are featured. Great music all around.

10

Donor

Rating: 5

SLB is an outstanding community resource here in Pittsburgh. I've known Larry Berger, the show's producer and voice, for over 25 years, and have enjoyed listening to his varied, family-oriented show. Larry has hosted many open houses where he invites the community to come in to visit with him and the staaff as they produce on-air, live radio. I took our two young children in to see how radio is done about 15 years ago when SLB was originating from the campus of Chatham College (now University). Both kids enjoyed meeting Larry, and having breakfast goodies. I commend SLB and Larry and Rikki Berger for their commitment to excellence in family radio. Bob Kenneweg rdkenneweg@yahoo.com

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a listern of the Saturday Light Brigade for many years. I've also been at some off site broadcasts, such as the Allegheny County Music Festival at Hartwood Acres, the Storywalk, and National Adoption Day the Allegheny County Family Court. I have admired Larry Berger's ability to relate to people of all ages and engage them in conversation and games. Over the years, SLB Radio has expanded its education prgrams by engaging schools, scounting groups, and other organizations. Larry Berger and his team have successfully used radio broadcast to teach young people the value of the medium in having their thoughts and opinions heard. I consider SLB Radio to be one of the special assets of Pittsburgh.