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PBS Ready To Learn

PBS is a valuable resource for shaping your project. The Producing for PBS manual ( provides an overview of key PBS priorities and processes. All children's series become part of the PBS Kids programming block. PBS extends the impact of its children's programming through the PBS Ready To Learn Service. On occasion, Ready To Learn will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) calling for submissions that meet specific educational criteria, which will be posted on the PBS Web site and sent directly to children's producers. Most commonly, however, children's producers turn to PBS Ready To Learn for help in defining the educational content of their projects and in integrating their projects into this amazing long-term educational outreach initiative.

PBS Ready To Learn

Launched in 1994/1995, the PBS Ready To Learn service is a national effort to improve the school readiness of young children through quality educational children's television programming combined with extensive educational outreach services. Ready To Learn is funded by the U.S. Department of Education through a cooperative agreement with PBS.

The core of Ready To Learn is a full day of nonviolent, commercial-free, educational children's television programming broadcast free of charge to every American household. Ready To Learn also provides extensive outreach services to parents, child care providers, pre-K through grade 2 teachers, and other early childhood professionals serving children ages 0 to 8.

How Ready To Learn Works

More than 145 PBS member stations provide a variety of services to children and their parents and caregivers. Local stations tailor these services to meet the needs of their communities. Participating PBS member stations do the following:

  • Broadcast at least 6.5 hours of educational children's programming each weekday
  • Conduct at least 20 workshops annually for parents and early childhood professionals
  • Distribute at least 300 free books to children each month
  • Widely distribute the PBS Families publication in English and Spanish, as well as other free resources about encouraging children to read and learn
  • Partner with local Head Start centers, Even Start programs, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, libraries, child care providers, schools, and other organizations

The Impact of Ready To Learn Outreach Services

Approximately 900,000 parents and early childhood professionals have participated in more than 29,000 community-based Ready To Learn workshops on using television wisely, developing children's learning skills, and preparing children to read. Approximately seven million children have benefited from their parents' and teachers' participation in Ready To Learn services. More than three million new books have been distributed to disadvantaged children through a partnership with First Book.

An evaluation of Ready To Learn workshops documented a lasting, positive impact on the behavior of parents and children. As a result of workshop participation, the television-viewing habits of families improved. As parents learned to become better television gatekeepers, their families spent more time together reading and doing education-related activities. In addition, children watched less television overall, and the programs they did watch included more educational content.

How Producers Can Work with PBS Ready To Learn

Once your program has been accepted by PBS, the Ready To Learn staff can consult with you to shape the educational content of your program and outreach plan to ensure that they meet the goals of Ready To Learn and can be easily incorporated into this powerful local educational outreach initiative. The staff can also help you reach Ready To Learn coordinators around the country by providing contact information. In addition, they organize an annual professional development seminar which all Ready To Learn coordinators are required to attend and where you can present your project's curriculum goals and materials through concurrent workshops.

For more information about Ready To Learn, visit the PBS Ready To Learn Web site or contact the national office:

PBS Ready To Learn
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, VA 22314
Senior Director: Charlotte Brantley, 703-739-5445,

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