The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) today announced partnerships with Iowa Public Television (IPTV) and four other public media stations in Indiana, Missouri, Nevada and Oklahoma. IPTV, Nine Network (St. Louis, MO), Oklahoma Educational Television Association, VegasPBS (KLVX) and WFYI (Indianapolis, IN)], will join 11 public media stations that have been conducting similar work since December 2015 to provide early learning resources to underserved communities through an innovative community engagement model.

IPTV will receive an initial Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media (CC-ELM) grant to give young children from low-income families a strong foundation in early science and literacy by identifying and working with community partners. Station partnerships will include schools, public libraries, science centers, health clinics and housing agencies that serve high-need populations. IPTV will work with community partners Storm Lake Elementary School, Storm Lake Elementary Tornado Academy, and the Storm Lake Public Library to implement new PBS KIDS science and literacy-based programming, mobile apps and digital games. Stations will leverage content from trusted PBS KIDS series Ready Jet Go! and The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, along with new media properties that are in development which will address scientific inquiry and informational text for young children.

“Local public media stations play an essential role pioneering a unique community partnership model that uses public media’s high-quality children’s educational content as a catalyst for school readiness,” said Deb Sanchez, CPB’s Senior Vice President of Education and Children’s Content. “By working hand-in-glove with local organizations, public media can provide engaging learning opportunities - anytime and anywhere - for high-need children and families.”

“Through their work on the ground in communities across America, PBS stations play an integral role in helping our nation’s most underserved kids succeed in school and in life,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “PBS is thrilled to bring five more stations on board for this innovative project, which builds on years of research demonstrating that PBS KIDS content is effective in helping children learn critical math and literacy skills, with kids in low-income households making the greatest gains.”

“This collaborative program will help IPTV reach children in some of Iowa’s most challenged neighborhoods and provide them with educational resources to help them succeed in school,” said Molly Phillips, IPTV Executive Director and General Manager. “We are excited to partner with CPB and PBS in bringing even more Ready To Learn resources to Iowa, furthering our mission to educate, inform, enrich and inspire Iowans, no matter where they live or what they can afford.”

This effort is part of a five-year 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.