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CPB and PBS team up with 24 public media stations to support early literacy, critical thinking skills

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The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (Credit: CPB)

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS today announced collaborations with 24 public media stations across the country to develop Learning Neighborhoods, an innovative model of community engagement designed to extend the reach and impact of Ready To Learn-funded PBS KIDS early learning resources to local communities. Each station will each receive approximately $10,000 to develop a Learning Neighborhood plan through the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Stations receiving funding:   

  • Arizona PBS, Phoenix, AZ
  • Buffalo Toronto Public Media, Buffalo, NY
  • Idaho Public Television, Boise, ID
  • Ideastream Public Media, Cleveland, OH
  • Iowa PBS, Johnston, IA
  • KBTC, Tacoma, WA
  • KLRN, San Antonio, TX
  • Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Nebraska Public Media, Lincoln, NE
  • New England Public Media, Springfield, MA
  • PBS Charlotte, NC
  • Valley PBS, Fresno, CA
  • Vermont Public, Colchester, VT
  • VPM, Richmond, VA
  • WEDU, Tampa, FL
  • WETA, Washington, DC
  • WFYI, Indianapolis, IN
  • WHUT, Washington, DC
  • WIPR, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • WOSU, Columbus, OH
  • WPSU, University Park, PA
  • WQLN, Erie, PA
  • WTCI, Chattanooga, TN
  • WUCF, Orlando, FL

Each station will receive training and guidance to research and develop a proposal for a Learning Neighborhood, a collaborative effort with community partners to foster a culture of learning at home, in the neighborhood, and within local systems and spaces. In a second phase of the project, 18 of the 24 proposals will be selected for funding in 2023-2024, joining 22 other stations that launched the  Learning Neighborhood collaboratives in 2020 and 2021.

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.   

“Learning Neighborhoods foster a ‘Learn Together’ theme. Public television stations and local partners leverage public media content. characters, events, and activities to encourage children and adults to learn anytime and anywhere in their neighborhoods and communities, said Debra Tica Sanchez, CPB’s Senior Vice President of Education and Children’s Content. “The planning process helps stations formalize their connections with community partners to best serve kids and families now and in the future.”

"At PBS KIDS our goal is to use the power of media to help children learn lessons that last a lifetime,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS KIDS. “These planning grants will help stations create partnerships with local organizations across the country, providing access to high-impact learning resources for children, parents, and caregivers in their communities.”

This effort is part of a five-year grant awarded to CPB and PBS through the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn Initiative to develop new multi-platform media and engagement tools that introduce children to career and workforce options and help them build everyday literacy skills. The effort will empower and equip parents, caregivers, and communities to support children’s learning and growth in these areas through a network of “Learning Neighborhoods,” and conduct efficacy research on the newly produced educational resources.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter  @CPBmediaFacebook and  LinkedIn and  subscribe for email updates.

PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through media and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can  stream PBS KIDS for free anytime, no subscription required. A large collection of mobile apps and provide accessible content that spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers and caregivers, parents, and community – providing resources accessible anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit, or follow PBS KIDS on  TwitterFacebook and  Instagram.

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 Elementary and Secondary Education. 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.