Press Releases

New community partnership to help children in low-income neighborhoods CPB, PBS partner with WCNY to support early science and literacy learning

New community partnership to help children in low-income neighborhoods CPB, PBS partner with WCNY to support early science and literacy learning

(SYRACUSE, NY and WASHINGTON, D.C.) The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS announced WCNY has been awarded $175,000 to work with community partners to provide science and literacy resources for children ages 2–8 and their families in underserved areas.

WCNY is one of 14 public media stations nationwide to receive a Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media (CC-ELM) grant this year, joining 16 other public media stations doing similar work through a community engagement model to help the youngest learners in their communities. This effort is part of a five-year Ready To learn grant awarded to CPB and PBS through the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn Initiative to advance new tools supporting personalized and adaptive content for children and parents, establish a network of community collaboratives, and conduct efficacy research on the educational resources provided.

This grant award recognizes the impactful plan WCNY developed with its partners to encourage co-learning between children and their parents and childcare providers,” said Debbie Stack, WCNY Senior Director, Education & Engagement. “We look forward to utilizing award-winning PBS KIDS broadcast, online, and hands-on family activity content to help all children achieve success in school and life.”

The grant will enable WCNY to work closely with community partners including Catholic Charities, Childcare Solutions, Children’s Consortium, Head Start, Museum of Science and Technology, Onondaga County Public Library, Rosamond Gifford Zoo, and the Syracuse City School District to maximize the impact of new PBS KIDS science and literacy-based programming, mobile apps and digital games from trusted series “Ready Jet Go!” and “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” along with other media properties. Work will include professional development for educators and training for facilitators and caregivers in best practices to engage families and children in learning together about scientific inquiry and literacy through digital media.

“Public media’s high-quality children’s content has proven effective in helping our youngest learners make academic gains and experience social-emotional growth to get on the right track for school,” said Deb Sanchez, CPB’s Senior Vice President of Education and Children’s Content. “Through these grants supporting community collaborations, public media can provide engaging learning opportunities–for free, anytime and anywhere–for all children and families, especially those living in low-income communities.”

“Together with community partners, PBS stations play an integral role in helping our nation’s most underserved kids,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Children’s Media & Education, PBS. “We fully support the work of 14 additional stations sharing impactful resources with their local communities through these new grants. Their work builds on years of research demonstrating that PBS KIDS content is effective in helping children learn critical school readiness skills, with kids in low-income households often making the greatest gains.”

For the past two decades, the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn Television grant has funded the development of educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families, especially those who live in low-income communities. CPB and PBS KIDS work with producers, researchers, local public media stations, and other partners to develop, distribute and evaluate PBS KIDS multiplatform content to engage children, families, and educators in learning experiences at home, in preschool, and in out-of-school settings.

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 Innovation and Improvement. 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. U295A150003-18, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

◄ Back to News