CPB and PBS Partner With 19 Public Media Stations to Support Early Literacy and Critical Thinking Skills

Stations Each Receive Ready To Learn Initiative Funding to Develop “Learning Neighborhoods” in Local Communities

November 7, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 7, 2023) -- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS today announced partnerships with 19 public media stations across the country centered on an innovative model of community engagement, extending the reach and impact of Ready To Learn-funded PBS KIDS early learning resources to local communities. Each station will receive $150,000 over the next two years, contingent on congressional funding, through the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The stations are:

  • 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
  • Nebraska Public Media, Lincoln, NE
  • PBS Charlotte, NC
  • VPM/Virginia's home for public media, 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
  • WTCI, Chattanooga, TN
  • WUCF, Orlando, FL

Centered in understanding local assets and needs, each station will collaborate with community partners to develop and build a “Learning Neighborhood” that fosters a community-wide culture of learning at home, in the neighborhood, and within local systems and spaces. These stations comprise the third and final cohort developing “Learning Neighborhoods” in the 2020-2025 CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, bringing the total number of station partners to 41.

“Local public media stations and their community partners play an essential role in pioneering the Learning Neighborhood approach by using and curating public media’s high-quality children’s content as a catalyst for school readiness,” said Debra Tica Sanchez, CPB’s Senior Vice President of Educational Media and Learning Experiences. “By working closely with local organizations, public media can provide engaging learning opportunities – anytime and anywhere – for all children and families.”

“PBS stations are uniquely positioned to serve children, parents and caregivers in their local communities,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS KIDS. “These local partnerships help to ensure access to invaluable learning resources, supporting kids in their journey to discover new opportunities alongside their favorite PBS KIDS characters.”

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.   

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 cpb.org, follow us on Facebook 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 pbskids.org 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 pbs.org/pressroom, 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.


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Tracey Briggs, CPB; 202-309-1246; 
Kayla Springer, PBS; 571-481-6668; pbskidspr@pbs.org

The contents of this release were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant (PR/AWARD No. S295A200004, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


Categories: Ready to Learn