With millions of children lacking the basic early math and literacy skills to succeed in school, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS have joined forces through the Ready To Learn Initiative, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education and Congress, to address this critical school readiness issue, particularly in low-income communities. The RTL Initiative uses multiplatform media and other learning tools – including television programs, interactive games, mobile apps, as well as hands-on activities – to engage and strengthen early learning experiences for children ages 2-8 at home, in preschool, and in other out of school settings. The combined financial support from CPB and the Ready To Learn Initiative will allow public television stations to collaborate with community-based educational partners who serve children in school, after school, and throughout the summer. It will also provide training to educators on how to use RTL multiplatform content and to parents on how to engage their children in math and literacy activities at home.
WNED has developed a cohesive project and logic model in an effort to increase math and English proficiency in preschool through third graders in the 14215 ZIP code in the Buffalo region. The station will collaborate with Buffalo Promise Neighborhood and Read to Succeed Buffalo, two strong partners with a proven track record in early childhood education. RTL funding will provide Mobile Learning Labs and programming support critical to the success of the initiatives underway in this neighborhood.
The Mobile Learning Labs will be used in the Promise Neighborhood's Children's Academy, Westminster Charter School and Highgate Heights Elementary School. Children will explore and learn with the PBS KIDS Lab. PBS KIDS Lab is built on the belief that every new technology is an opportunity for learning. Researchers and advisers were worked closely with every step of the way, from building curriculum frameworks to ensure that all the content aligns to state and national standards, to testing early prototypes with kids. A lot of time was spent with parents and educators, learning more about the devices that are available at homes and in schools, what supplemental resources work best, and how learning can be fun for the whole family.
Check out the PBS KIDS Lab at pbskids.org/lab.