Orlando, FL (Nov, 7, 2023) – WUCF has been awarded a 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, WUCF 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.
“WUCF is thrilled to be a Ready To Learn station for 2024-2025. This opportunity from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS deepens our relationship with the Osceola Library System and reinforces our commitment to early learners,” said Lauren Taylor, Education Services Manager at WUCF. “Ready To Learn allows our Education Team to bring quality PBS KIDS content and experiences to families right here in Central Florida through workshops, events and new programming. Our focus is on intergenerational learning, supporting social experiences for young children, and breaking down barriers to caregivers' participation in their children’s school readiness. We are passionate about serving families and children and are so excited to have the resources to engage with even more families over the next two years!”
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.
“Having WUCF as our partner in early literacy has been amazing! Our partnership events, featuring their beloved characters, are among our best attended family programs,” said Lisa Jones, Youth Services Manager of Hart Memorial Central Library. “We are so excited to bring the innovative and enriching Ready to Learn content to our community and continue offering these engaging, fun and, most of all, educational programs provided by WUCF.”
Centered in understanding local assets and needs, WUCF will collaborate with Hart Memorial Central Library 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. WUCF 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 WTCI (Chattanooga, TN) .
“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.”
About WUCF TV
WUCF TV is the sole-service PBS member station for the nearly 4 million Central Floridians across nine counties. WUCF is Central Florida’s storyteller, encouraging curiosity and learning through compelling content and community engagement. WUCF produces award-winning local content like “Florida Road Trip,” which explores Florida through history, people and culture. WUCF also serves Florida’s youngest citizens, offering hours of PBS Kids content on-air, online and in the classroom, leading the state in usage for PBS LearningMedia. Throughout its ten-year history, WUCF has engaged with over 1.5 million people across Central Florida at in- person events, and over 30 million people online through virtual events and streaming content. The station is community-supported public broadcasting from the University of Central Florida. Learn more at http://wucf.org/
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org, follow us onFacebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for email updates.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through media and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can stream PBS KIDS for free anytime, no subscription required. A large collection of mobile apps and pbskids.org provide accessible content that spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers and caregivers, parents, and community – providing resources accessible anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebookand Instagram.
About The Ready To Learn Initiative
The Ready To Learn Initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching low-income children. 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.
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The contents of this release were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant (PR/AWARD No. S295A200004, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.