"Some of public broadcasting's most important work happens not on the screen, but in communities across the country where parents, child care providers, and teachers are connecting with beloved television characters such as Big Bird to teach children to read," said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. "South Dakota Public Broadcasting has a proven commitment to early childhood education and we are proud to support its efforts to increase literacy among the youngest members of its community."
"The ability to read is the center of learning," added Peggy O'Brien, Ph.D., CPB senior vice president, educational programming. "Children in South Dakota will be reading earlier than ever, thanks to the work of South Dakota Public Broadcasting."
The grant will support South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Ready To Lead in Literacy program, which will hold 67 workshops for parents, educators, and child care providers across South Dakota. The workshops will stress literacy and selective television viewing, reaching 560 adults and 3,800 children and inmates in two minimum-security men's prisons. The program also distributes approximately 13,250 family reading tips; developmentally appropriate books; and activities to 5,000 families with partner programs such as Head Start, Even Start, and Early Head Start.
Ready To Lead in Literacy is a three-year limited funding initiative by CPB designed to increase the literacy of children. Under the grant, public television stations, utilizing the latest and most successful techniques and materials, including those aligned with the Department of Education's "Ready To Learn" program, will work with and develop community support for expanded literacy activities.