FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 17, 2020) — The Rist Family Foundation — a 501(c)(3) organization established by Storm Smart Executive Chairman Brian Rist and his wife, Kim — will sponsor WGCU’s new at-home learning programs for students.

This comes after PBS stations throughout Florida changed their weekday television schedules to support students who are now learning at home, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 23rd, WGCU has offered English language arts, social studies, science, math and more to those in Pre-K through 12th grade. These programs air any time between 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Now, The Rist Family Foundation’s efforts will help maintain this programming from April 20th, forward.

“As we continue to empower and enrich our communities by providing educational futures to our youth, among other endeavors, we proudly stand behind WGCU as it supports remote schooling in our great state,” said Brian Rist. “WGCU previously noted that not all students in its coverage area have all-day internet access, so to give children every opportunity to learn, regardless, is a cause The Rist Family Foundation doesn’t have to think twice about.”

These new programs can be found on the main WGCU HD channel (30.1 on the air and 440 on cable). They are free, meet standards outlined by the State of Florida, supplement resources at (where viewers will also find the schedule of new programs) and complement regularly scheduled programming on PBS Kids.

At-home learning by WGCU also provides teachers with the option of follow-up discussion questions, worksheets and projects. If they have inquiries, they are welcome to contact Pamela James at WGCU —

Meanwhile, The Rist Family Foundation’s sponsorship will be apparent online and on the air via ads, WGCU social media and an e-blast, as well as in a television schedule mailer. For more information on the nonprofit’s involvement, call (239) 938-1006.

About The Rist Family Foundation

A 501(c)(3) organization, The Rist Family Foundation was established in 2018 by longtime Lee County philanthropists, Brian and Kim Rist. The foundation continues and expands Brian’s and Kim’s efforts to positively impact the Southwest Florida community through initiatives focusing on the support of local veterans and providing educational opportunities and resources to area students. Most recently, the Rists donated to the FGCU Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Valerie’s House, the Cape Coral Community Foundation, Good Wheels, as well as other organizations and causes.