Ready to Learn

History of the Grant

Programming Grants: CPB/PBS and the Ready To Learn Partnership

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Education awarded two Ready To Learn initiative programming grants, one to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and PBS, and one to the Ready To Learn Partnership (RTLP) through public television station WTTW in Chicago.

The CPB/PBS partnership has assembled a coalition of top children’s television producers, content developers, education experts and public television stations, to cover the essential components needed to help children learn to read. The goal is to achieve measurable results in improving literacy skills of children in low-income families. The Ready To Learn initiative includes an approach called “Literacy 360,” which will surround children in the 20 selected target markets with opportunities to read, and engage parents, teachers and communities in the effort.

The Ready To Learn Partnership (RTLP), through WTTW, the Chicago-based public television station, brings 50 years of experience in quality television program development, production and distribution to the Ready To Learn initiative. The RTLP is dedicated to leveraging federal funds with for-profit and not-for-profit resources to create highly engaging media products and sustainable outreach services for developing young children's emergent literacy skills, with an emphasis on the needs of children from low income families. RTLP is creating four distinct and innovative properties, each of which targets a different stage in reading development.

Both grantees are developing content that will reach children and families through traditional television, online resources, emerging interactive media, and other forms of outreach to families and schools.

Outreach Grant: CPB/PBS

In 2005, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS were awarded a Ready To Learn initiative outreach grant which will support a national campaign to increase awareness, especially among parents and educators, of the Ready To Learn initiative and the scientifically-based reading research that supports it. In addition, intensive local Literacy 360 campaigns will be launched in 20 cities over the next five years, creating community partnerships to reach and connect with the low income families targeted by the Ready To Learn initiative. The first five markets include Baltimore, MD; Jackson, MS; Oakland, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Toledo, OH. Five additional markets have joined the initiative: Alabama Public Broadcasting; WNED, Buffalo, New York; WSIU, Carbondale, IL; WPSU, State College, PA; and KPBS, San Diego, CA.