The Ready To Learn Initiative Research

Previous Research on Programs

The Ready To Learn Initiative provides universal free access to high quality, research- and curriculum based, noncommercial children's educational programming. PBS KIDS Ready To Learn television programming demonstrates a variety of approaches to learning and addresses a range of cognitive and affective school readiness skills, including language and literacy skills, vocabulary acquisition and fluency, social and emotional skills necessary for receptivity to cognitive learning, and self-help skills that encourage physical well-being and development. PBS KIDS Ready To Learn set a new standard for excellence in educational children's television by funding the development of the award-winning programs Between the Lions and Dragon Tales.

  • Between the Lions

    Between the Lions

    The backbone of Between the Lions is a comprehensive literacy curriculum geared to beginning readers. Developed with literacy experts from across the country, the program reflects a balanced approach that showcases the power and pleasure of reading combined with practices that build key skills in phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

    Between the Lions has demonstrated that quality TV can make a significant difference in the acquisition of key literacy skills that are predictive of later reading ability.

    A July 2000 evaluation of Between the Lions concluded that Kindergarten children who watched Between the Lions outperformed Kindergarten children who did not watch Between the Lions by nearly 4 to 1 on measures of phonemic awareness, letter-sound correspondence, and concepts of print. Read the University of Kansas study [PDF file].

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    A recent study conducted in two Mississippi communities, including a Choctaw Indian reservation found that Between the Lions made significant differences in several key reading skills of children at high risk of reading failure. Read a summary of the latest Between the Lions research initiative [PDF file].

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  • Dragon Tales

    Dragon Tales

    The PBS Ready To Learn initiative program, Dragon Tales, is designed to help children 2 to 6 years old (with a primary emphasis on 4 year olds) develop strategies for meeting challenges in their lives:

    • Social challenges such as developing and maintaining relationships
    • Emotional challenges such as coping with fears
    • Physical challenges such as learning to ride a bicycle
    • Cognitive challenges such as following clues and solving problems.

    A 2001 evaluation of the series found that Dragon Tales is having a positive impact on the growth and development of its target audience and is achieving its educational objectives. Read the Dragon Tales Summative Evaluation [PDF file].

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PBS KIDS: Raising Readers