Ready to Learn Initiative
About Ready to Learn
OETA’s Ready to Learn initiative employs PBS Kids content to engage families, teachers and communities in the lives of their children from an early age. Television, online and app based technology is coupled with media literacy principles and practices to help children start school ready to learn and ultimately be successful, lifelong learners. While the Ready to Learn initiative actively targets low-income families, schools and communities with children ages 2 through 8, associated programs and resources are available to all Oklahomans.
How to Get Involved
By participating in a local Ready to Learn program, your family, school or community organization can become a part of Oklahoma’s Ready to Learn community. Contact Darrell Strong Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Ready to Learn Programs
All programs are free and open to the public.
- RTL Kids Camps – Built from television shows like Ready, Jet, Go! and Odd Squad,out-of-school learning camps are available to children through community partners like the Urban League, the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA.
- RTL Families – Designed to equip families and caregivers with the knowledge and resources to optimize television time and at-home learning experiences, the RTL Families programs offers in-person, interactive workshops centered on popular PBS Kids television programming such as Molly of Denali and The Ruff Ruffman Show. RTL Families programs incorporate media literacy practices with hands-on activities and are offered in communities by OETA and at select service organizations partners.
- RTL Teachers – For both childcare providers and classroom teachers, the RTL Teachers programs includeworkshop and conference experiences such as “Playful Learning for Educators” and “PBS Kids Edcamp.” These programs equip educational providers with the necessary knowledge, skills and tools to incorporate tech-based media into their curriculum.
- RTL In Your Community – Interactive screening events that offer communities a sneak peek at new PBS Kids television programs, including discussion and hands-on activities for children and caregivers. Participating community members also receive a regular newsletter that highlights themed curriculum-based resources and information for families to use in the at-home learning environment.
- RTL for Community Educators – Training, consultation and technical assistance for community organizations and service providers who partner with OETA to support their local children, families and schools with Ready to Learn resources.
Goals and Objectives
The Ready to Learn initiative is meant to engage children, families and educators in learning experiences at home, in preschool/childcare and in out-of-school settings by equipping parents and caregivers with traditional & digital media and tools to support developmentally appropriate education.
OETA’s Ready to Learn initiative supports the “Pathway to School Readiness” from the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR), specifically the early learning and care goal explained as...
“Engaging children in high-quality early care and learning makes them more likely to succeed in school and throughout their lifetime. What makes something “high-quality”? High quality programs are ones in which strong, exceptional teachers use effective, developmentally-appropriate curriculum to form a solid learning foundation. In addition, high-quality early care and learning requires supportive learning environments with an adequate number of teachers and leaders who tailor learning experiences to a child’s individual cultural needs. As such, the pathway identifies desired outcomes and indicators of early care and learning opportunities as children meet the benchmarks of school readiness.”
Ready to Learn for Parents
OETA offers workshop series for families that create a supportive environment to strengthen parents’ involvement in working with their children in safe, supportive environments. Additionally, the Family and Community Learning workshops provides tools and resources for parents to extend their learning in the home environment, creating at least 25 hours of in-home learning experiences per week through 24/7 access to curriculum based (on national standards) resources including:
- Kids educational television programming;
- Television content connected mobile apps;
- Interactive webgames for skill development and practice.
Additionally, the PBS Parents' portal provides hands-on learning activities and information that further supports parents’ efforts to create positive, engaging environments that are conducive to school readiness and success in the home.
Ready to Learn for Educators and Childcare Professionals
OETA offers similar services and resources to support educators and childcare professionals as they support parents. The Ready to Learn initiative supports educators in a variety of ways. By creating educator professional development opportunities such as PBS Playful Learning for Educators workshop series and PBS Kids Edcamps, educational professionals can improve their practice with the variety of research and results driven transmedia content. Educational professionals may gain access to lesson enhancing services like PBS LearningMedia that provides concept/skill acquisition support as well as information supporting the actual process of teaching and learning.
Ready to Learn further supports caregivers and teachers by supporting community partners in the work of maximizing out-of-school time (breaks and summers) for early learners (children ages 5 through 8). OETA fills the role of consultant, guiding community organizations as they employ the use of PBS Kids Camps to help improve the academic skills in STEM areas. PBS Kids Camps under the Ready to Learn initiative also support local workforce goals and current educational priorities as they dive deep into design thinking and process functions.
Through these processes the Ready to Learn initiative achieves long-term outcomes including (1) improved attitudes towards learning in parents and their children and (2) more engaged communities of stakeholders that support improved school performance among low-income populations.
Ready to Learn Resources
- Ready to Learn Collection on PBS Learning Media. Through the Ready To Learn (RTL) Initiative, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), PBS, and local PBS stations provide free, evidence-based educational resources that help teachers, caregivers, and parents build early science and literacy skills for America’s children, especially those from low-income communities. This U.S. Department of Education-funded initiative introduces children to key STEM and literacy concepts early, which better prepares them for school and boosts their long-term education opportunities.
- PBS Kids Online learning games, videos, and mobile apps for children ages 2 through 8 across curriculum areas such as literacy, STEM, and Social Emotional Development.
- PBS Parents Parenting tips and advice to help ensure the proper development and school readiness for early learners.
- PBS Teachers (Coming Soon) an interactive professional development digital platform for childcare providers and early childhood educators to help incorporate media literacy practices and playful learning in their classrooms.
- Improving and Measuring Children’s Literacy A national study on the effectiveness for the Ready to Learn Initiative’s impact on improving literacy in children.
Ready to Learn Research, Policy, and Positions (for Educational Professionals)
- Early Learning & Engineering: The Impact of The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! on Learning (2019, EDC & SRI). Preschool children living in low-income households learned critical science and engineering concepts and practices from The Cat in the Hat media.
- Community Collaboratives for Early Learning & Media: A National Picture of CC-ELM Results, 2017-2018 (2019, EDC & SRI). Nearly all parents who participated in Community Collaborative programs feel more confident about helping their children learn science and want to spend more time each week helping their children learn at home.
- Ready To Learn Research: What Parents Talk About When They Talk About Learning: A National Survey About Young Children and Science (2018, EDC & SRI). Nearly all parents want to be involved in their children’s education, but most are less likely to feel confident teaching their young children science than reading, writing or math. (Executive Summary and Infographic).
- Ready To Learn Research: PBS KIDS ScratchJr Family Creative Learning Workshop Implementation Study (2017, EDC & SRI). The workshop boosted parents and children’s interest in and learning of technology and coding (Report Highlights).
- Supporting Parent-Child Experiences with PEG+CAT Early Math Concepts(EDC & SRI, 2015). This randomized RTL study found that children who used media content from PBS KIDS’ series PEG + CAT showed improvement in critical math areas involving ordinal numbers, spatial relationships, and 3-D shapes. Parents and caregivers also showed greater comfort and confidence in supporting their children with math concepts and problem-solving strategies.
- ODD SQUAD: Learning Math with PBS KIDS Transmedia Content at School and Home (2015, WestEd): Use of ODDSQUAD resources was shown to improve elementary-age students’ mathematics learning.
- Learning with PBS KIDS: A Study of Family Engagement and Early Mathematics Achievement, (2015, WestEd) PBS KIDS resources, coupled with family engagement, can help narrow the math achievement gap for children from low-income families and better prepare them for kindergarten.
- PEG + CAT Content Study (2014, ED/SRI): PEG + CAT resources were shown to improve children’s learning and engagement and were viewed favorably by parents.
- PBS KIDS Mathematics Transmedia Suites in Preschool Families and Communities (2013, WestEd): Children’s math scores improved and parents increased their support of children’s math learning while using Ready To Learn content.
- Preschool Teachers Can Use a PBS KIDS Transmedia Curriculum Supplement to Support Young Children’s Mathematics Learning (2013, Pasnik & Llorente): Results of a randomized controlled trial indicate that Ready To Learn content improved children’s understanding of early math, and increased educator content knowledge.
- Evaluation of The Electric Company Summer Learning Program (2011, WestEd): Students made significant gains in math, vocabulary, numeracy and phonics skills.