CPB Media Room

CPB Announces Creation of "Ready to Lead in Literacy" Grants

  • For Immediate Release on June 16, 2005

Grants will help stations sustain and increase community-based childhood literacy work

Boston, June 16, 2005 - W. Kenneth Ferree, acting president and chief executive officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, today announced establishment of the Ready To Lead in Literacy grant program, which will help stations maintain and expand their community-based early literacy efforts.

Speaking to the annual meeting of the National Center for Outreach, Ferree noted that that current Ready To Learn activities are scheduled to wind up in September, and stated that, consistent with its mission, CPB would work with stations to help those activities continue. "Public broadcasting's commitment to young children and their families will never waver. It is at the very heart of what we do, and this will not change," he said.

Ready to Lead in Literacy will offer stations grants that they can use to maintain their Ready To Learn partnerships and activities, take a leadership role in their communities to advance literacy for young children, and develop fundraising and other capacities to sustain and increase this work in the years ahead. Ferree said that CPB expects to make grants to between 80 and 100 stations in amounts of up to $35,000, for a total of as much as $3 million in FY2006.

Ferree also noted that CPB and PBS had submitted a proposal to the Department of Education for a Ready To Learn initiative sharply focused on measurable gains in reading performance among low-income children. He said that the focus on results was consistent with the approach CPB was taking with its other programs, including its American History and Civics Initiative and the Partnership for a Nation of Learners, in which public broadcasters will collaborate with museums and libraries.

Ferree's remarks centered on the role of outreach in today's rapidly changing media environment. "The 21st century consumer expects more customization, more relevance, more impact. That is, they expect more than a single linear stream of broadcast programming -- no matter how good -- can, or ever will, provide," he said. "That is why outreach is so important ... It allows programming, and more importantly in the future, associated content, to have a real impact on people, their lives, and their communities."

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The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

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