The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS received notification today of a Ready to Learn grant for nearly $72 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. CPB and PBS submitted a joint application in June in response to an RFP designed to fund research, development and deployment of transmedia content to improve the math and literacy skills of children ages 2-8, especially those living in poverty.
The grant, which provides the organizations nearly $15 million annually from 2010 to 2015, will allow CPB and PBS to advance pioneering work on behalf of the next generation of children – digital natives who will use media across many technology platforms – in partnership with local PBS stations, leading children’s producers, educational technologists, university and community partners and researchers. This is the fourth Ready To Learn grant received by CPB and PBS since 1995. These funds have historically been leveraged with additional financial support from CPB and PBS.
“This grant is a critical investment in America’s children,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO for CPB. “Public media – both nationally and through our local stations – is uniquely poised to ensure that children, parents, educators and caregivers have access to the most effective, purpose-built media and resources to close the achievement gap in math and reading skills for the highest need young children.”
“This generous grant will allow public media to deliver the next generation of educational resources to help kids build the skills they need to succeed in school and in life,” said Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO. “Research shows that the years before age five are the most critical period in a child’s life. This is when children learn how to learn – when their educational, emotional, and social skills begin to take shape. Educational media are an important and effective component in motivating and developing young learners.”