The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (“CPB”), as part of the 2020-25 Ready To Learn initiative (“RTL”), intends to contract with up to ten public television stations to create Learning Neighborhoods, an innovative model of community engagement designed to extend the reach and impact of RTL content in low-income communities. A Learning Neighborhood consists group of partners, including a local PBS station, that are acutely focused on the early learning needs of children and their families in the local station’s service area (“Learning Neighborhood”). Learning Neighborhoods will intentionally coordinate parent, family and educator experiences and provide a comprehensive set of touchpoints for a community to support a child’s learning, encouraging sustained use and extending the impact of the RTL content. On a macro level, the goal of the Learning Neighborhood will be to foster a community-wide culture that promotes Ready To Learn’s “Learn Together” theme and empowers children and adults to learn anytime, anywhere – at home, in the neighborhood, and within local systems and spaces.
Each Learning Neighborhood will consist of networks of partners in these communities that work together to give children ages two to eight from low-income communities (the “Target Audience”) a stronger foundation in functional literacy, computational thinking, executive function and career readiness with a focus on intergenerational learning and accessibility.
The stations selected through this RFP will join an existing group of Learning Neighborhoods which began their work in October 2020. The term will begin no earlier than October 1, 2021 and conclude no later than September 30, 2025 (contingent on the continuation of annual federal grant awards to CPB for the RTL program). During the first year of the contract, the selected stations will be trained on RTL resources, utilize the RTL Assets & Needs Assessment toolkit developed by RTL’s research partners, and draft a plan for their Learning Neighborhood, prior to implementing 2020-25 RTL content.
In order to be eligible to apply for funding, stations must currently be a CPB Community Service Grant recipient in good standing and have engaged in the following activities within the last five years:
• implemented recent RTL content and models;
• provided services to low-income families;
• participated in early learning initiatives; and
• demonstrated a commitment by the station’s leadership and community partners’ to those activities.
The Learning Neighborhoods are funded through a Ready To Learn Programming grant by the U.S. Department of Education, for a grant project entitled, “Learn Together: Connecting Children's Media and Learning Environments to Build Key Skills for Success” (PR Award No. S295A200004/ CFDA No. 84.295A). The total amount of funds available for all ten Learning Neighborhoods, contingent on a continuation of annual federal grant awards to CPB for the RTL program, is: $900,000 (FY21), $500,000 (FY22), $500,000 (FY23), and $700,000 (FY24).