U.S. Department of Education Announces $25 Million for Science and Literacy-Themed Television and Digital Media

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U.S. Department of Education Announces $25 Million for Science and Literacy-Themed Television and Digital Media

September 3, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education announced today two grant awards totaling $25 million to Twin Cities Public Television and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the development of television and multimedia programs that will engage preschool and young elementary school children and their families in science and literacy-themed learning.

The awards, made through the Ready-to-Learn Television program, support the creation of television shows, games, websites and apps for young children and families to play and explore, with a particular focus on science and literacy. The grantees—two award-winning public telecommunications entities—will create digital experiences for children that teach the content and skills needed to succeed in elementary school. Today's awards build upon the successful 2010 Ready-to-Learn competition, which facilitated the launch of the Emmy-award winning show, Peg + Cat.

"Children find inspiration to learn in many parts of their lives, including through exciting multimedia programs like those supported by Ready-to-Learn," said Nadya Chinoy Dabby, assistant deputy secretary for Innovation and Improvement. "Today's investments will support innovative organizations as they create programs and platforms that make learning literacy and science a fun and engaging part of young children's experiences." Twin Cities Public Television will create and distribute nationally in English and Spanish a new educational program that will include 40 television episodes and 24 interactive games. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), will develop several new educational programs focused on science and literacy, as well as build upon existing successful programs such as The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That and Curious George. They will also launch a series of interactive tools and materials that motivate hands-on active learning. CPB/PBS member stations will manage 30 community collaboratives that will provide community-based outreach programs and engage such partners as libraries, Head Start and housing authorities.

The grantees and award amounts for the 2015 first year funding are below; additional years of funding are contingent on Congressional appropriations:

Corporation for Public Broadcasting     $19,081,483     Washington     D.C.

Twin Cities Public Television                  $6,419,612       St. Paul           Minnesota

Ready to Learn Television supports the development of educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its main goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching children from low-income families. 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.