CPB and PBS Partner With 10 Public Media Stations to Support Early Literacy Learning and Critical Thinking Skills
Stations Each Receive Ready To Learn Initiative Funding to Develop “Learning Neighborhoods” in Local Communities
October 5, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 5, 2021) -- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS today announced partnerships with 10 public media stations across the country centered on an innovative model of community engagement designed to extend the reach and impact of Ready To Learn-funded PBS KIDS early learning resources to local communities. Arkansas PBS, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Ball State PBS (Muncie, IN), Nine PBS (St. Louis, MO), WXXI (Rochester, NY), PBS39 (Lehigh Valley, PA), Rhode Island PBS, East Tennessee PBS (Knoxville, TN), KERA (Dallas, TX) and KSPS (Spokane, WA) will each receive $260,000 over the next four years through the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Centered in understanding local assets and needs, each station will collaborate with community partners to develop and build a “Learning Neighborhood” that fosters a community-wide culture of learning at home, in the neighborhood, and within local systems and spaces. This cohort joins 12 stations who began their “Learning Neighborhood” models in October 2020: Alaska Public Media; Austin PBS; Alabama Public Television; Detroit Public TV; Vegas PBS; Kentucky Educational Television; PBS SoCal (Los Angeles, CA); PBS Wisconsin; WNET (New York, NY); Maryland Public Television; WQED (Pittsburgh, PA); and WFSU (Tallahassee, FL). Additional communities will be added in the coming years.
The 2020-2025 Ready To Learn Initiative is focused on connecting children’s media and learning environments to build key skills for success in school and life, including functional literacy, critical thinking, and collaboration, as well as showing them career options in age-appropriate ways.
“Local public media stations and their community partners will play an essential role in pioneering this impactful Learning Neighborhood approach by using and curating public media’s high-quality children’s content as a catalyst for school readiness,” said Debra Tica Sanchez, CPB’s Senior Vice President of Education and Children’s Content. “By working closely with local organizations, public media can provide engaging learning opportunities – anytime and anywhere – for children and families, especially those living in low-income communities.”
“PBS KIDS believes that the world is full of possibilities and so is every child,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Through their work on the ground and partnerships with local organizations across the country, PBS stations are uniquely positioned to help serve children, parents and caregivers in their communities, ensuring access to invaluable learning resources.”
This effort is part of a five-year grant awarded to CPB and PBS through the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn Initiative to develop new multi-platform media and engagement tools that introduce children to career and workforce options and help them build everyday literacy skills. The effort will empower and equip parents, caregivers, and communities to support children’s learning and growth in these areas through a network of “Learning Neighborhoods,” and conduct efficacy research on the newly produced educational resources.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 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 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org, follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for email updates.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through television, digital media, and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can watch PBS KIDS anytime on the free PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and the PBS KIDS Video app, available on mobile and connected-TV devices, no subscription required. PBS KIDS’ large collection of mobile apps and pbskids.org provide accessible content, including digital games and streaming video to spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers, parents, and community – providing resources to support children’s learning, anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About The Ready To Learn Initiative
The Ready To Learn Initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching low-income children. In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach, and research on educational effectiveness.
The contents of this release were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant (PR/AWARD No. S295A200004, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.