Designed to develop a “Learning Neighborhood” that fosters a community-wide culture of learning at home, in the neighborhood, and within local systems and spaces, this grant will help Arkansas PBS extend the reach and impact of reach of PBS KIDS early learning resources to communities across The Natural State. We’re looking forward to working with local partners over the next four years as we put this program – part of the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Iniative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education – into action.
Additional support will be provided through a $200,000 matching grant from the Windgate Foundation. This additional support, spread across four years, will enable Arkansas PBS to create a new education staff position, dedicated to the Ready To Learn Initiative.
We are deeply grateful to CPB, PBS and the Windgate Foundation for their support of Arkansas PBS’s enduring commitment to education,” Arkansas PBS CEO Courtney Pledger said. “We know that when community partners work closely together, early learners’ chances for success in school truly soar – and we are thrilled to serve Arkansas children, parents and educators through this exceptional initiative.
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.
"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," Deb Sanchez, CPB’s Senior Vice President of Education and Children’s Content, said.
Arkansas PBS is one of 10 public television stations receiving grants, along with:
· Georgia Public Broadcasting
· Ball State PBS
· Nine PBS
· Rhode Island PBS
· East Tennessee PBS
We’re also joining 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, PBS Wisconsin, WNET, Maryland Public Television, WQED and WFSU. In coming years, additional communities will be added.
We’re proud to be a part of this five-year grant awarded to CPB and PBS through the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn Initiative and participate in the effort to develop new multiplatform media and engagement tools that introduce our children to career and workforce options and help them build everyday literacy skills. This program will empower and equip parents, caregivers and communities to support children’s learning and growth in these areas through our “Learning Neighborhoods” network, and this project will also do research on the newly produced educational resources’ effectiveness.