PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have awarded $1.5 million in grants to 21 noncommercial TV stations for school readiness projects through the Ready To Learn (RTL) initiative, as well as an additional $700,000 coming from the Department of Education.
RTL uses TV programming, interactive gaming, mobile apps and more to boost early learning, particularly for lower income kids.
The new funding will allow nine stations to continue to provide interactive math and literacy programs, while adding a dozen new stations to that roster. The stations partner with local community groups, Head Start programs, housing authorities and others.
“The work that PBS member stations do across the country to serve children in their communities and help prepare them for success in school and in life is core to our mission," said Lesli Rotenberg, general manager of children’s programming, senior VP of marketing and comms for PBS. "Through new and continuing community engagement activities funded by the Ready To Learn Initiative, we are excited to further these efforts to serve families across America with trusted, educational content.”
RTL is frequently a subject of discussion at budget time, with Republicans calling for phasing it out and even the Obama administration proposing cuts last time around.