Iowa PBS awarded a Learning Neighborhoods grant

An illustration of two students sitting at a desk with the solar system behind them. The student on the right is raising his hand.

Iowa PBS is one of 19 Ready To Learn grant awardees recently selected to participate in an innovative model of community engagement supporting early literacy and critical thinking skills. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS selected Iowa PBS’s proposal to develop a Learning Neighborhood program in Perry, Iowa, centered on an innovative model of community engagement, extending the reach and impact of Ready To Learn-funded PBS KIDS early learning resources to a local community. Iowa PBS will receive $150,000 over the next two years, contingent on Congressional funding, through the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The 19 new awardees join 22 other public media organizations that launched Learning Neighborhood collaboratives in 2020 and 2021.

As a grant recipient, Iowa PBS will lead a collaborative effort with the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce and P.A.C.E.S. Before and After School Program to foster a culture of learning for Perry children and their families in their homes, their neighborhoods, and within local systems and spaces. The Perry Learning Neighborhood project will emphasize financial literacy, agriculture and farming, and how other careers serve the community. This effort is part of a five-year grant awarded to CPB and PBS through the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn Initiative to develop new, multi-platform media and engagement tools that introduce children to career and workforce options and help them build everyday literacy skills. 

“Local public media stations and their community partners play an essential role in pioneering the Learning Neighborhood approach by using and curating public media’s high-quality children’s content as a catalyst for school readiness,” said Debra Tica Sanchez, CPB’s Senior Vice President of Educational Media and Learning Experiences. “By working closely with local organizations, public media can provide engaging learning opportunities — anytime and anywhere — for all children and families.”

The 2020-2025 Ready To Learn Initiative is focused on connecting children’s media and learning environments to build key skills for success in school and life, including functional literacy, critical thinking, and collaboration, as well as showing them career options in age-appropriate ways.

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for email updates.


PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through media and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can stream PBS KIDS for free anytime, no subscription required. A large collection of mobile apps and provide accessible content that spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers and caregivers, parents, and community – providing resources accessible anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit, or follow PBS KIDS on X, formerly known as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About The Ready To Learn Initiative 

The Ready To Learn Initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching low-income children. In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach, and research on educational effectiveness.