Topic: Awards

November 29, 2018

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS today announced that WIPB-TV, a PBS member television station operated by Ball State University, has been awarded $175,000 to work with community partners to provide science and literacy resources for young learners in underserved areas.

WIPB-TV is one of 14 public media stations nationwide to receive a Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media (CC-ELM) grant this year, joining 16 other public media stations doing similar work through a community engagement model to help the youngest learners in their communities.

This effort is part of a five-year Ready To Learn grant awarded to CPB and PBS through the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn Initiative to advance new tools supporting personalized and adaptive content for children and parents, establish a network of community collaboratives, and conduct efficacy research on the educational resources provided.

“We have built strong collaborative relationships in our community and look forward to working with our partners on the south side of Muncie to engage young learners with high-quality PBS KIDS content,” said Michelle Kinsey, community engagement and grants manager for WIPB-TV.

WIPB-TV will focus its efforts in the South Central and Thomas Park/Avondale neighborhoods of Muncie, working closely with the members and organizations involved with the 8twelve Coalition, created to revitalize this area.

This coalition includes South View Elementary School, Muncie BY5, Ross Community Center, Second Harvest Food Bank, Community Wellness Coordinators from Purdue Extension, Huffer Child Care Resource and Referral, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie and Maring-Hunt Library, as well as local churches and families.

The grant will enable WIPB to work closely with these partners to maximize the impact of new PBS KIDS science and literacy-based programming, mobile apps and digital games from trusted series “Ready Jet Go!” and “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” along with other media properties.

Work will include training for facilitators and caregivers in best practices to engage families and children in learning together about scientific inquiry and literacy through digital media. A variety of workshops and camps will be offered free for families at partner locations, including Ross Community Center, South View Elementary School and Maring-Hunt Library.

Amanda Owen, Impact Coordinator at Ross Community Center, said she is “looking forward to enriching the center’s STEM and literacy programming” through this Ready to Learn initiative. “This is a wonderful opportunity for us, for our families.”

According to Deb Sanchez, CPB’s senior vice president of education and children’s content, “public media’s high-quality children’s content has proven effective in helping our youngest learners make academic gains and experience social-emotional growth to get on the right track for school. Through these grants supporting community collaborations, public media can provide engaging learning opportunities – for free, anytime and anywhere – for all children and families, especially those living in low-income communities.”

“Together with community partners, PBS stations play an integral role in helping our nation’s most underserved kids,” said Lesli Rotenberg, chief programming executive and general manager, Children's Media & Education, PBS. “We fully support the work of 14 additional stations sharing impactful resources with their local communities through these new grants. Their work builds on years of research demonstrating that PBS KIDS content is effective in helping children learn critical school readiness skills, with kids in low-income households often making the greatest gains.”

For the past two decades, the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn Television grant has funded the development of educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families, especially those who live in low-income communities. CPB and PBS KIDS work with producers, researchers, local public media stations, and other partners to develop, distribute and evaluate PBS KIDS multiplatform content to engage children, families, and educators in learning experiences at home, in preschool, and in out-of-school settings. Information on other stations receiving Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media (CC-ELM) grants can be found in the 2015-2020 grant announcement and 2016 press release.