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The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS Partner with 11 Communities as Demonstration Sites for Ready To Learn Media

  • November 7, 2011

Eleven public television stations will pilot test effectiveness of new educational content developed through a Ready To Learn grant

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 7, 2011) – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS recently announced that 11 public television stations will serve as demonstration sites to test math and literacy content developed through the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn grant.

Working in partnership, CPB and PBS are leading a Ready To Learn-funded initiative, Expanded Learning Through Transmedia Content, to develop content across platforms -- including video, online games, mobile apps, and off-line activities -- that builds an educational experience for kids using their favorite PBS KIDS characters.

Through funding from the U.S. Department of Education and CPB, 11 public media stations (complete list below) were selected as demonstration sites. Throughout the coming year, these vital community organizations will work with children and their families, caregivers and educators in school, after school and at home to test the effectiveness of the new content in helping young children develop early math and literacy skills.

“Over the last four decades, public media has been a key contributor to our country’s ongoing effort to ensure that children from all backgrounds have an opportunity to achieve in school,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. “This latest Ready To Learn Initiative builds on public media’s history in education and on our local community engagement to help families and teachers give our earliest learners a stronger foundation in math and literacy.”

“Public broadcasting was created in order to use the power of media for education, and we continue to find new ways to fulfill that original mission” said Paula Kerger, president of PBS. “We’re building on our experience to help children and families learn vital math and literacy skills. It’s just one more way PBS and our member stations serve as America’s largest classroom, offering resources to families, educators and caregivers that aren’t available anywhere else.”

Based on a curriculum framework, the content developed through this project is designed to leverage leading-edge technologies to improve math and literacy skills in children ages 2-8, particularly those from low income families, through resources for kids, parents and teachers. So far, more than 45 new interactive games have launched as part of this initiative, and a variety of new content is planned for the near future, including bilingual resources and tracking of children’s educational progress.

The demonstration stations will:

  • Introduce Ready To Learn Initiative content for use in homes, schools, after-school programs, summer programs, and libraries;
  • Train caregivers and educators on the use of Ready To Learn Initiative content through face-to-face training and statewide webinars and conferences; and
  • Create community awareness campaigns and utilize innovative digital strategies to disseminate Ready To Learn Initiative content.

Results of the initiative will provide a better understanding of how technology and public media platforms can work together to advance children’s learning.

As part of this initiative, CPB and PBS are partnering with The Collaborative for Building After-School Systems, National Summer Learning Association, Chicago Public Schools Virtual Pre-K/K Program, and Boston University’s School of Education.

Expanded Learning Through Transmedia Content is part of a five-year Ready To Learn grant awarded to CPB and PBS in 2010 to focus on math concepts, continue early literacy projects and develop innovative new teaching tools. CPB and PBS were the recipients of a previous five-year Ready To Learn grant in 2005 to develop children’s programming with an emphasis on early literacy skills. Research and findings conducted on the content created under this grant is available here.

Demonstration Sites

Detroit, MIDetroit Public Television
Storm Lake/Waterloo, IAIowa Public Television
Coconino/Phoenix, AZEight, Arizona PBS
Tacoma, WAKBTC
Baltimore, MDMaryland Public Television
Flathead Reservation, MTMontana PBS
Las Vegas, NVVegas PBS
Freeport/Jasper/Tallahassee, FLWFSU
Springfield, MAWGBY
New York, NYThirteen/WNET
Cleveland, OHWVIZ/PBS ideastream

About CPB

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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CPB awards grants to stations and independent producers to create programs and services.