Station to Work with CPB, PBS to Develop ‘Learning Neighborhood’

WTCI PBS has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS to extend the reach and impact of PBS KIDS early learning resources to local communities. Over the next two years, contingent on congressional funding, WTCI PBS will collaborate with local partners to create a “Learning Neighborhood” that fosters a community-wide culture of learning at home, in the neighborhood, and within local systems and spaces. The program is part of the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

“Being awarded a CPB Ready To Learn grant is receiving a gift that will keep on giving. Experiencing a WTCI Ready To Learn workshop will be something special. It will open up a whole new world to teachers, children, parents, and families, all discovering that teaching and learning the Ready To Learn way is creative and fun. Our educational partners will benefit from this program, too, as they see the joy and the results of the creative learning process. WTCI is thrilled to create and deliver Ready To Learn to our community”, said Bob Culkeen, President and CEO of WTCI PBS.

The 2020-2025 Ready To Learn Initiative is focused on connecting children’s media and learning environments to build key skills for success in school and life, including functional literacy, critical thinking, and collaboration, as well as showing them career options in age-appropriate ways.   

“Local public media stations and their community partners play an essential role in pioneering the Learning Neighborhood approach by using and curating public media’s high-quality children’s content as a catalyst for school readiness,” said Debra Tica Sanchez, CPB’s Senior Vice President of Educational Media and Learning Experiences. “By working closely with local organizations, public media can provide engaging learning opportunities – anytime and anywhere – for all children and families.” 

Centered in understanding local assets and needs, WTCI PBS will collaborate with community partners, including Chattanooga 2.0, City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County Schools and others, to develop and build a “Learning Neighborhood” that fosters a community-wide culture of learning at home, in the neighborhood, and within local systems and spaces. WTCI PBS is one of 19 stations in the third and final cohort developing “Learning Neighborhoods” in the 2020-2025 CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, bringing the total number of station partners to 41. The other stations are: Arizona PBS, Buffalo Toronto Public Media, Idaho Public Television, Ideastream Public Media (Cleveland, OH), Iowa PBS, KBTC (Tacoma, WA), KLRN (San Antonio), Nebraska Public Media, PBS Charlotte (NC), Virginia Public Media, WEDU (Tampa, FL), WETA and WHUT (Washington, DC), WFYI (Indianapolis, IN), WIPR (San Juan, Puerto Rico), WOSU (Columbus, OH), WPSU (University Park, PA), and WUCF (Orlando, FL).

“PBS stations are uniquely positioned to serve children, parents and caregivers in their local communities,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS KIDS. “These local partnerships help to ensure access to invaluable learning resources, supporting kids in their journey to discover new opportunities alongside their favorite PBS KIDS characters.”