RTL 2020-25 Learning Neighborhood Planning Projects

New applications are no longer being accepted. Check this page for updates about this initiative.


Open to CSG-qualified TV Stations.


June 30, 2022

Request for Applications

During Phase I, stations will use project funds to participate in a series of trainings related to the RTL 2020-25 learning priorities: functional literacy, critical and computational thinking, executive function and career readiness, with a focus on intergenerational learning and accessibility. Stations will also develop a stronger understanding of the RTL target audience: children ages two to eight from low-income communities, along with their families, caregivers, and educators. Further, stations will complete training in inclusive and equitable facilitation to support RTL’s commitment of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Finally, stations will be introduced to the RTL Community Assets & Needs Assessment (“CANA”) tool, which they will utilize in their station’s service area to identify potential sites, partners, and strategies for developing a Learning Neighborhood. At the conclusion of Phase I, stations will submit a Learning Neighborhood proposal; the 18 proposals will be selected for funding over a two-year period.

Phase I will begin no earlier than October 1, 2022 and conclude no later than May 31, 2023. Phase II will begin no earlier than October 1, 2023 and conclude no later than September 30, 2025. Both phases are contingent on the continuation of annual federal grant awards to CPB for the RTL program.

In order to be eligible to apply for funding, stations must currently be a CPB community service grant recipient in good standing and have engaged in the following activities within the last five years:
● implemented recent RTL content and models;
● engaged with families in low-income communities;
● participated in early learning initiatives; and
● a demonstrated commitment by the station’s leadership and community partners to the above activities.

Please download the Request for Applications below for detailed information, including application requirements.
PDF icon Request for Applications191.63 KB

Questions from Potential Respondents, with CPB Answers:

FAQ Topic: 

Should budgets show the full cost of the applicant’s participation in Phase I, including expenses paid by the station or contributed in-kind? Or should budgets show only the expenses for which an applicant is requesting RTL funds?

The budget should only include funds requested of CPB for Phase I. Please do not include in-kind or externally-sourced funding.

Should applicants describe the activities of their early learning programs in detail, or will all reviewers understand public media-specific terminology, e.g. "RTL content and model" or "Learning Triangle method"?

Applicants do not need to describe the activities in detail; the panel is expected to be well-versed in the education and engagement practices utilized by PBS stations.

What are the expectations of staff time to complete project activities in Phase I?

Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 stations estimate that they spend 10-20 personnel hours per week during the planning phase of their Learning Neighborhood projects. This may vary according to station, based on number of staff, proximity of the station to the Learning Neighborhood community, and other factors.

Does the specific community for a Learning Neighborhood need to be identified in the application, or is that something that will be determined during Phase I?

Applicants should not identify a target community for their Learning Neighborhood in the application. That step will be a part of the Phase I project work.

What funding level can be expected to be awarded to each of the 30 stations in Phase I?

In Phase I, $300,000 will be divided among up to 30 stations.

Where can I find a recording of the May 24, 2022 information session?

The session recording is available on the PBS Annual Meeting “On Demand” page: