October 8, 2020

EDC Continues National Media Partnership to Enhance Early Learning

EDC will lead the research on a new five-year Ready To Learn initiative, launched by long-time partners the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS and funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

This initiative begins just as tens of millions of low-income families nationwide are striving to overcome learning loss due to COVID-19 and contending with inequitable access to high-quality early education. CPB and PBS will produce new media—games, videos, apps, and online resources—to assist caregivers in sparking children’s delight in learning, building on children’s boundless curiosity, and helping children acquire key school readiness and lifelong learning skills.

Since 2006, EDC has served as CPB’s and PBS’s research partner, studying the influence of Ready To Learn media on children from low-income families and deepening understanding of effective strategies to enhance early education for all young children. For the 2020–2025 grant, EDC will carry out the following comprehensive, rigorous course of research to support CPB and PBS in assessing the initiative’s success and taking it to scale:

  • Lead large-scale, randomized controlled trials to identify the reach and results of the initiative, including an online hub for caregivers and wraparound community supports
  • Examine the ability of new CPB and PBS media content to build the functional literacy, critical thinking, and collaboration skills of children in low-income communities
  • Conduct formative studies that will guide CPB-PBS in refining media content

Findings will provide new insights into how to design and use media to build on families’ strengths, fostering intergenerational learning that enhances children’s success in and beyond school.

“We are proud of our long partnership with CPB and PBS,” said EDC vice president Shelley Pasnik. “More important than longevity, though, is the opportunity to meet families’ educational needs today.”

EDC research scientist Megan Silander added, “Caregivers and children in low-income communities are facing tremendous challenges. Our team looks forward to advancing knowledge of what’s possible when all families have ready access to effective, high-quality media.”

Learn more about EDC’s work in early childhood development and learning.