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PBS and CPB Doing Even More to Help Early Childhood Education

02 January 2017

Proper and consistent early childhood education can make a dramatic difference in people’s quality of life. To people whose lives are stagnated, low income learning may be the key. A quality education improves people’s chances for success significantly. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Broadcasting Service recognize this and are doing something about it. The organizations have joined forces with Iowa Public Television to provide support for getting children raised in low-income communities the opportunity to benefit from early learning.

This unique community collaborative effort is focused on literacy and science as part of the Ready To Learn Initiative. Public media stations in Oklahoma, Nevada, Missouri and Indiana are also involved in the initiative. They’ll join the 11 other public media stations already doing similar work since 2015. They have been providing early learning resources through a cutting-edge community engagement model to help underserved communities. Iowa Public Television will get a Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media grant to help provide children from low-income families with an early solid foundation in literacy and science through identifying viable community partners and working with them.

The low income learning partnerships are established with public libraries, schools, health clinics, science centers and housing agencies serving high-need populations. IPTV will partner with select elementary schools and libraries and implement the new PBS KIDS literacy and science-based programming, digital games and mobile apps. Content will be drawn from Ready Jet Go! and The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! PBS KIDS series. They will also develop new media properties to address informational text and scientific inquiry for young children.

These public media stations are playing a crucial role in pioneering this unique community partnership model using quality children’s educational content to improve school readiness for underserved children. Public media working with local organizations can offer engaging learning opportunities for high-need families and their children. They’re playing an integral role in early childhood education by helping underserved children to do well in school and life. The innovative project uses information based on years of research that shows PBS KIDS content helps children, especially those in low income households, learn literacy and math skills.

The program is funded by a five-year grant from the Ready To Learn Initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education. It’s committed to using new tools and personalized and adaptive content to benefit children and families. Part of the program is to build a group of community collaborative and conduct research on the efficacy of the provided resources. The overall goal of the mission is to inspire, inform, educate and enrich underserved children.

The Ready To Learn Initiative supports the creation of innovative digital media and educational television to help preschool and elementary school children by promoting school readiness and early learning for low-income children. The program supports a number of other activities designed to promote its national distribution, find effective educational uses for the programming along with community-based outreach as well as educational effectiveness research.

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