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Project Name:Ready To Learn Partnership
Project Contact: Reese Marcusson
Telephone:(773) 509-5408
Mailing Address:WTTW-Channel 11
St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625

The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that 55 percent of fourth graders from low-income families are struggling to read. In response to this alarming statistic, the Ready To Learn Partnership proposes a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education to create highly engaging media products and related outreach services for children and parents that will increase the children's vocabulary and emergent literacy skills. Evaluation will be integral to the project, measuring outcome scores, determined by rigorous scientific, evidence-based randomized control trials (SBR), implementing effective educational practices supported by rigorous SBR evidence, and testing new electronic and digital media platforms. The project brings entirely new approaches to the enterprise of early literacy development. First is a partnership whose existence is a priori the need of the child. A seasoned public telecommunications entity, early reading experts, media professionals, marketing, financial, and communication experts, evaluation professionals, and child advocates will combine their efforts. Second, we design each property collaboratively from the beginning to be translated to many platforms. The first of these properties, Word World, is already three years into development. Third, we will leverage federal funding by bringing additional sources to the project, thus ensuring sustainability beyond the time of the grant. Fourth, we will enhance the RTL brand through a cohesive marketing campaign. All activity is in the service of the overarching goal to ensure a next generation of literate Americans and to contribute significantly to the body of scientifically-based research and practice in early literacy.

Project Name:Ready to Learn Programming Proposal
Project Contact:Pam Johnson
Telephone:(202) 879-9684
Mailing Address:Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Educational Programming and Services
401 Ninth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) propose an innovative plan for the next phase of the U.S. Department of Education's Ready To Learn program. Our goal is to create measurable improvements in the reading skills of low-income children age two through eight. We intend to produce four new, research-driven children's television series and new episodes of two existing series, along with a new rigorous, yet engaging online destination called The Reading Zone, where children can practice and build reading skills. This will be the first time that television series, websites, a new online Reading Zone, and in-school materials from four of the most respected children's television producers will converge with a common scientifically-based language and literacy framework, with a common scope and sequence. A team of the nation's top SBRR experts will design this development process. All content-for TV, online, and print--will be rigorously tested and evaluated. Each series will be broadcast on PBS KIDS, reaching 98 percent of U.S. households, and watched by 7.5 million low-income families every month. The creators of Sesame Street and Between the Lions will join forces with a lead researcher to develop comprehensive instructional materials for preschools and kindergartens, based on scientifically-based reading research, designed to meet the needs of low-income children. These materials will incorporate skill-based video and online content from these renowned television series as well as our new series, and will be tested for their effect on reading achievement. This unprecedented collaboration among public broadcasting, U.S. Department of Education, children's television producers, researchers, and literacy experts launches a new era of reading achievement among our nation's most vulnerable children.

Project Name:Ready to Learn Outreach Proposal
Project Contact:Peggy O'Brien, Ph.D.
Telephone:(202) 879-9725
Mailing Address:Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Educational Programming and Services
401 Ninth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) propose an exciting, results-oriented outreach campaign to ensure the success of the Department of Education's Ready To Learn program. Our national efforts will promote public awareness of Ready To Learn through press and media outlets such as newspapers, television, and radio, emphasizing those most likely to reach our target audience of low-income parents/caregivers. Our local campaign will focus on low-income communities; 20 in five markets the first year and 20 more communities each subsequent year. We will use an aggressive awareness and behavior-change strategy to motivate parents/caregivers and the community to embrace and support the reading achievement of their children. We will increase local awareness of Ready To Learn resources, increase active co-viewing of programming among parents and children, and increase other behaviors known to support low-income children's reading achievement. An independent evaluator, WestEd, will rigorously evaluate our success using surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews. Our strategies include social marketing techniques proven to change behaviors by designing messages and offering solutions that respond to the problems, needs, and desires identified by the target population. Sutton Group Social Marketing will help us 1) shape messages about the importance of reading that resonate within communities, and 2) determine tactics that will most effectively embed these messages within the community belief systems regarding their children's well-being. Local PBS stations will act as community hubs and will promote Ready To Learn on-air. Corporate partners will include Apple Computer, Inc; Telemundo; My Weekly Reader; and Scholastic. We will also work with groups such as Head Start, Boys and Girls clubs, faith-based organizations, and others.

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Last Modified: 10/19/2010