Ready To Learn Station Training and Implementation

New applications are no longer being accepted. Check this page for updates about this initiative.


See guidelines for specific qualifications.


January 31, 2020

Request for Applications

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), as part of its 2015-20 Ready To Learn (RTL) initiative funded by the Ready To Learn Television Program of the U.S. Department of Education, intends to fund up to 25 public television stations to receive hands-on training with advanced digital and educational community engagement resources, developed through the RTL initiative, and assistance to develop and implement these resources in low-income communities that they serve, with children ages two to eight, and their families and caregivers (collectively, the target audience). The goal is to strengthen the target audiences’ early science and literacy learning through programs designed by the stations, using these resources.

These RTL Station Training & Implementation Grants are funded through the grant project, “CPB-PBS RTL Content, Community, and Collaboration: Advancing Children's Learning through Personalized Media Experiences,” which is funded by a grant award from the Ready To Learn Television Program of the U.S. Department of Education (No. U295A100025, CFDA No. 84.295A). The total amount available for up to 25 planning grants is $375,000 and contingent on CPB’s continued receipt of its annual RTL federal appropriation.

Stations selected for funding must use RTL funds to send two staff to an in-person training, conducted by CPB and PBS, in May 2020. The training will include, at a minimum, hands-on instruction in the following RTL engagement resources:

• PBS KIDS Family & Community Learning;
• Playful Learning for Educators; and
• out-of-school time activities and camps.

Following the training, stations will have seven weeks to create a plan to implement at least two engagement resources, selected from those introduced in the May 2020 training, in their communities, subject to CPB’s approval. All implementation activities must conclude no later than September 30, 2020. Extensions may be granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Technical support will be made available to the station following the training and through the implementation period, by CPB, PBS and select mentors, i.e. PBS stations that are experienced in developing and using these resources. At the projects’ conclusion, stations must submit a final narrative report to CPB describing in detail their implementation experience, project outcomes and their plans for using the resources within their communities beyond September 2020.

Please download the Request for Applications below for detailed information, including application requirements.
PDF icon Request for Applications167.6 KB

Questions from Potential Respondents, with CPB Answers:

FAQ Topic: 

Which PBS KIDS properties will funded stations be trained on and expected to implement during the project?

Stations selected for funding must implement at least two station engagement resources selected from those introduced at the May 2020 training, which include PBS KIDS Family & Community Learning, camps, and Playful Learning for Educators. The resources include: PBS KIDS ScratchJr, PBS KIDS Play & Learn Science, The Ruff Ruffman Show, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, Ready, Jet, Go!, and Odd Squad.

Will materials for the RTL engagement resources, such as facilitator guides and children’s books, be provided by CPB and PBS or should applicants’ include these costs in their budgets?

At this time, we do not have guides and books available and stations must include the costs for these materials in their budgets.

The RFA requires two people from each station to attend the training, but I am the only member of my station’s Education department. Can I still apply for this opportunity?

Yes. CPB expects the project to require the assistance of more than employee at the station. Accordingly, a non-Education department staff person (e.g. communications, development) would be permitted to attend, provided she or he plays an instrumental role in implementing the project.

How should stations craft their budgets given that decisions of resource implementation will not be made until after the training?

Applicants should include in their budgets the expected cost of implementing two of the CPB-approved RTL resources. Stations selected for funding must finalize their plans and budgets after the training and subject to CPB’s approval. To assist you in developing this estimate, it may be helpful to review existing RTL engagement resources at

What is the approximate date of award notification?

CPB intends to notify selected stations of their status by early April 2020.

Is station work expected to be science OR literacy or science AND literacy?

Stations that are selected for funding must implement at least two Ready To Learn engagement resources from a collection of PBS KIDS Family & Community Learning workshop series, camps, and Playful Learning for Educators. The resources are grounded in at least one PBS KIDS property (Odd Squad; PBS KIDS ScratchJr; Play & Learn Science; Ready, Jet, Go; The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That; The Ruff Ruffman Show), each of which has a primary learning goal related to science. These resources also incorporate lessons related to literacy.

Can PBS Annual Meeting costs be included in applicants’ budgets?

Yes and discounted hotel rooms are available for registered stations at the Hyatt Regency Seattle. As rooms are limited, registration for PBSAM and hotel reservations should be made at the earliest possible date. More information on registration and hotel costs can be found at

How many days/nights should stations plan on for the in-person training?

The in-person training is tentatively planned for two days, May 12 and May 13, 2020, in Seattle, WA as part of the PBS Annual Meeting. Stations should budget accordingly based on their proximity to the training location.

UPDATE (1/16/20): The in-person training date has been changed to Thursday, May 14, 2020, following the PBS Annual Meeting. Stations attending both may arrive as early as Sunday, May 10th.

Are partner commitment letters required for this application?