For the past 20 years, PBS and CPB have been partners in a Ready To Learn Initiative that brings educational television and digital media resources to children ages 2-8. Its goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with an emphasis on supporting children from low-income, underserved communities.
WQED was a recipient of the Ready to Learn grant during the first cycle in 2015-2020. The Ready to Learn grant was used to enhance programs servicing the South Hills of Pittsburgh, where suburban poverty is on the rise and is also home to the largest refugee population in Allegheny County. Several programs including STEAM, literacy and Pre-K transition programs were implemented in area schools to reach disadvantaged students in an out-of-school setting. WQED is also partnered with South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) to work with Abraham Lincoln School District to create a community garden. The garden built a partnership between the school and Shim, that included enhanced content provided produce for SHIM’s food pantry, and provided families an opportunity to learn science and community building together. Community libraries used a variety resources and materials from WQED to incorporate PBS Kids and RTL content into their programs and to take those resources into the community to help underserved families.