Ready To Learn

Ready to Learn–Did You Know

These videos introduce you to the Ready To Learn programs and resources, and how local students and families are enjoying learning about science and reading together!

To support the millions of children lacking the basic early learning skills to succeed in school, the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn (RTL)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, for the past two decades. Under this federal grant, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) KIDS work with producers, researchers, local public media stations like WCNY, and other partners to develop, distribute and evaluate PBS KIDS multiplatform content – including television programs, video, interactive games, mobile apps and hands-on activities – to engage children, families, and educators in learning experiences at home, in preschool, and in out-of-school settings.

WCNY has been selected, through a 2015-2020 Ready To Learn grant, to participate in the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative as part of a an innovative network of “Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media” (CC-ELM) that involve local partnerships to support children’s school readiness, especially in low-income neighborhoods. The funding, authorized by Congress and administered by the U.S. Department of Education, supports CPB and PBS KIDS in  creating evidence-based science and literacy content, personalized and adaptive learning experiences, and engagement resources for families and educators designed to improve the school readiness of children ages 2-8, through a strategy that combines content, community engagement, and collaboration.  A primary goal: develop inquiry skills of and spark curiosity in children ages 2-8 and help them succeed in school and in life!

This website was developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, the 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.

Why is WCNY involved?  A commitment to education has been a pillar of public media stations since Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.  The first line of that Act says, “It is in the public interest to encourage the growth and development of public radio and television broadcasting, including the use of such media for instructional, educational, and cultural purposes.”  Education is the foundation of WCNY’s mission.  At WCNY, we are committed to using the power of media to open world of possibilities for all children and to improve learning outcomes for all of America’s children, especially those who need the most support.

WCNY’s CC-ELM consists of local networks of community partners – including organizations focused on home visitation, family health, and early learning, community technology, as well as museums and libraries – working to give all kids the best possible start. WCNY is the educational media partner in WCNY’s CC-ELM and works to embed RTL’s rich resources into effective community programming

The grant funds new content for PBS KIDS series such as The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! and Ready Jet Go!  along with some new PBS KIDS TV (Molly of Denali)  and digital series (The Ruff Ruffman Show) with companion content all focused on scientific inquiry and informational text literacy. CPB and PBS are leveraging this content to develop personalized learning experiences for children and provide meaningful data to parents, caregivers and teachers.

A New Early Elementary Digital Science Series, The Ruff Ruffman Show – Canine host Ruff Ruffman helps kids experiment with science in everyday life. The series includes online videos, an app, online games, and engagement resources for families and out-of-school time.

New Preschool The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Science Content – new episodes of this PBS KIDS series inspired by the Dr. Seuss Learning Library books are supplemented by digital games and family engagement resources.

New Preschool/Early Elementary Ready Jet Go! Science Content – includes new episodes of this astronomy and earth science series featuring Jet Propulsion and his friends.

Early Elementary Science Camps  – WCNY and its partners are holding Scratch Jr., Ready Jet Go!, Ruff Ruffman, and other science camps during and after school.

Some of the content is focused on families, including hands-on-activities, apps, and videos, that families can use with their children to support literacy development and explore science in their everyday lives. All children are born scientists because they are naturally curious. The resources will help families nurture this curiosity by encouraging children to explore, notice, investigate, make predictions, and ask questions to help them learn about their world. Some of the resources are designed for use in the home and some can be used in a community based setting where families gather to explore together. Find resources at:

Family & Community Learning is a model for multi-generational hands-on family engagement designed to support science and literacy development among children and families. Designed for use in community based settings, these resources include multi-session sequenced experiences that are built to be modular and flexible enough to be adaptable to the wide variety of communities and contexts that they might be used in. All of the resources come packed with full activity plans, supporting materials for facilitators, links to related video and digital media, and additional take-home materials to support ongoing family engagement. Contact WCNY’s Education Department for information.

Whether you are a classroom teacher, a school administrator, a curriculum specialist, or the director of an out-of-school time program, you’ll find resources to help you effectively use educational media to build science and literacy skills in young children. Find resources at:

Ready To Learn with the Onondaga County Public Libraries