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Reading Program to Five New Markets

CPB has tapped five new markets to participate in a cross-platform reading program--on-air and on the Web--particularly targeted to low-income children.

The CPB/PBS initiative is part of the Ready to Learn (RTL) project funded by the Department of Education.

Following the flap over the Ready To Learn series Postcards From Buster, DOE revamped its RTL grant to make sure the non-com programming focused on curriculum-based education targeted to low-income familes.

The stations participating are WNED-TV in Buffalo, NY, WSIU-TV Carbondale, IL; WPSU-TV State College, PA; and KPBS-TV San Diego. They join last year's first five markets, KQED-TV San Francisco; Mississippi Public Broadcasting; KLRN-TV San Antonio; Maryland Public Television; and WGTE-TV Toledo. 

Five markets are being picked each year through 2009, with stations in each market partnering with community organizations on educational outreach to the poor.

The "Literacy 360" effort targets parents, teachers and caregivers of kids age two through eight and features four old PBS series and four new ones. The first new programs, Super Why and Word World, will debut in fall 2007.  Martha Speaks and The Electric Company  will debut in fall 2008.  PBS staples Sesame Street and Between the Lions are included in the lineup.