Ready To Learn Community Collaboratives for Early Learning & Media

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


Stations currently receiving a CPB Community Service Grant and in good standing.


July 8, 2016

Request for Proposals

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (“CPB”), as part of the 2015-20 Ready To Learn initiative (“RTL”) intends to provide funds for up to seven public television stations to create Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media (“CC-ELM”), an innovative model of community engagement designed to extend the reach and impact of the RTL content in low-income communities. Each CC-ELM will consist of networks of partners in these communities that work together to give children ages two to eight (the “Target Audience”) a stronger foundation in early science and literacy learning.

The stations selected through this RFP will join an existing group of CC-ELM which began their work in December 2015. Projects will begin no earlier than October 1, 2016 and conclude no later than September 30, 2020 (contingent on annual federal appropriations for the RTL program). The first year of the contract will be a planning period, during which each station will conduct a partner needs assessment. This must be completed before training partners and implementing RTL content.

Please download the Request for Proposals below for detailed information, including application requirements.
PDF icon Request for Proposals357.77 KB

Questions from Potential Respondents, with CPB Answers:

FAQ Topic: 

Will there be a third round of Ready To Learn Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media?

Contingent upon federal appropriations, we plan to select a final group of CC-ELM stations for funding in the fourth and fifth years of the RTL grant (October 2018 – September 2020). We expect to announce the program, including the number of stations and funding levels, in 2017.

Is there a template that stations should use to submit their proposals?

We provide a template for the budget, but no template is provided for the narrative section. The narrative should include all items outlined in Section VII. Proposal Requirements, Part A of the RFP in the order listed.

Are stations that are not members of PBS (and therefore do not air Ready To Learn programming) eligible to respond to this RFP?

There are a number of eligibility requirements, including implementing RTL content and models in the last five years.

Should proposals include details on how stations intend to complete the deliverables described for the first year of the project?

Because Year 1 will be primarily the planning period, applicants are not expected to include many details about their plans for these deliverables. Stations are responsible for addressing the items outlined in Section VII.A of the RFP (Proposal Requirements) in the order listed.

How will selected stations be funded for this work?

Stations will be reimbursed in a timely fashion upon receipt and approval of bi-monthly financial reports.

How will CPB, PBS, and the RTL research consortium provide CC-ELM with support for the evaluation?

CPB, PBS and the RTL research consortium, led by EDC/SRI, are in the process of identifying project-wide engagement measures which the selected stations will be required to track. Under CPB’s direction, EDC/SRI have created tools to support this effort, and will be providing stations with technical assistance throughout the grant term. EDC/SRI may also conduct national research with CC-ELM, for which EDC/SRI would be responsible for institutional review board (IRB) approval CC-ELM may choose to use a portion of their budget to cover the cost of working with local evaluators. All stations must provide statistical data that demonstrates the impact of its RTL work on children, families, and educators. The measurements will be determined by CPB, PBS, EDC/SRI and local partners.

What types of equipment will CC-ELM need to implement Ready To Learn Content?

Tablets (iOS or Android) and desktop or laptop computers will be required to implement RTL content. Stations should include in their budgets equipment costs based on these requirements. If actual equipment needs differ from this estimate, the budget will be revised.

What online courses will be available for educators or families during this round of Ready To Learn?

The 2015-20 Ready To Learn grant will include professional development support from the Boston University School of Education (BU-SED) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Both partners will support training caregivers and educators from diverse backgrounds with free resources on a variety of platforms. The specific support will be determined as the project evolves.

How do I know if my station is a CPB Community Service Grant (CSG) recipient?

Please contact your station Chief Financial Officer to confirm your station’s status.

Will CC-ELM be responsible for both project planning and implementation in the first year?

The first year of the project will serve as both a planning and implementation period for new CC-ELM stations. CPB anticipates that CC-ELM will spend between four and six months conducting needs assessments, determining evaluation strategies and outlining a full project plan with community partners. The remaining months should be devoted to implementing RTL content and resources with the target audience.

How can stations access the Ready To Learn science and literacy learning frameworks?

While knowledge of the RTL frameworks is not considered essential for writing a high quality proposal, stations who are interested in seeing the documents may download them here. A more robust online version of the frameworks will be available to the system and its partners in the future.

Is there an ideal number of partners that stations should named in the proposal?

Applicants are not required to identify community partners in their proposals as these will be determined during a collaborative needs assessment process during the project period. See Section VII. Proposal Requirements, Part A of the RFP.

Is this grant only for PBS RTL properties or can it be expanded to other properties that are similar to PBS RTL?

The grant will fund only PBS KIDS Ready To Learn content developed during 2015-2020.

Our station currently produces PBS KIDS workshops with a local partner. Can we use this grant to create transmedia content connected to these workshops?

The grant funds may not be used by stations to produce transmedia content.

Our station has not received Ready To Learn funds in several years. How will this impact our application?

Proposals will be evaluated based solely on the criteria listed in section VIII of the RFP.