Connecting Literacy

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Ready To Lead in Literacy Grant Supports Ready To Learn at UNC-TV

On June 16, 2005 - W. Kenneth Ferree, acting president and chief executive officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, today announced establishment of the Ready To Lead in Literacy grant program, which will help stations maintain and expand their community-based early literacy efforts.   UNC-TV’s efforts have been greatly enhanced by the continued support of the F. M. Kirby Foundation. 

The United States Department of Education provided UNC Center for Public Television’s (UNC-TV's) Ready To Learn program with a three-year grant through the United States Department of Education beginning in fiscal year 2005-2006. The objectives for the Ready To Lead in Literacy (RTLL) initiative are to increase the literacy of children in RTLL station communities; provide short-term funding to Ready To Learn stations to continue and grow their Ready To Learn activities; and support public television literacy leadership in select communities where public television stations such UNC-TV have made early childhood education -- especially literacy -- a core competency of their local services mission.  The RTLL grant coupled with the generous support of the Kirby Foundation   provide the financial base for this valuable service to North Carolina.

UNC-TV’s RTLL initiative has established three centers in of excellence in three major geographic regions of North Carolina—mountains  (Buncombe and Cherokee Counties), piedmont (Durham County) and coastal plain (Pitt County)—in cooperation with local schools and early childhood educators. 
The program seeks to support and improve the literacy knowledge of the two significant teachers in the child’s life, their classroom instructors and their parents or caregivers. 

  • UNC-TV will host a statewide literacy summit
  • Local community trainers will mentor teachers.
  • Teachers and their classrooms will reflect best practices and will increase the educational involvement of the child’s parents/caregivers.
  • Creativity and flexibility on the part of the teachers will be encouraged
  • A specialist will evaluate each step of the process.

Intended Outcomes for Three Centers of Excellence:

  • Teachers have more training and practical tools to use in teaching literacy, particularly to at-risk and disadvantaged children
  • At-risk children have more books in their homes
  • Teachers are more enthusiastic about teaching, particularly teaching reading
  • Teachers’ literacy instruction improves
  • Literacy expertise at the local level increases; community has sufficient training to sustain the program without additional funding
  • Parents/caregivers increase the level of literacy promoting activities in the home
  • Parents are more aware of importance of literacy and feel better equipped to help their children
  • Children enjoy reading and/or literacy-promoting activities
  • Classroom time spent on reading aloud to children increases
  • Classroom environments better encourage and promote pre-literacy and literacy skills
  • Children in the program make gains in acquiring language skills


PBS Ready To Learn is supported by a cooperative agreement from the U. S. Department of Education, PR/Award Number R295A00002.