Iowa PBS receives 2024 Ready To Learn 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.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS today announced that Iowa PBS is one of 14 public media organizations to receive an additional Ready To Learn grant to extend early childhood educational resources. The 18-month contract will allow Iowa PBS to work with local partners to expand educator, parent and caregiver trainings, as well as use digital media resources and hands-on learning activities from PBS KIDS, especially in underserved areas.

“Ready To Learn supports a network of local public media stations and community and statewide partners to connect families in underserved areas with quality educational resources,” said CPB Senior Vice President, Educational Media and Learning Experiences Debra Sanchez. “These Ready To Learn resources are designed to equip the adults in children’s lives — educators, parents and caregivers — to more effectively engage young children and improve their school readiness.”

Through the Ready To Learn program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, CPB and PBS KIDS work with content producers, researchers and other partners to develop, distribute and evaluate multiplatform content to support the needs of America’s children. The content includes multiplatform series, short-form video, interactive games, mobile apps and hands-on activities from PBS KIDS programs such as “Lyla in the Loop,” “Molly of Denali” and “Work It Out Wombats!”

As part of this grant, Iowa PBS is working with community partners to develop a Learning Neighborhood in Perry, Iowa, intended to foster a community-wide culture of learning at home, in the neighborhood, and within local systems and spaces.

“By providing our education services to Iowa’s most challenged communities, we work every day to help families and educators to get our youngest students ready for school and ready to learn,” said Ken Harrison, director of education services at Iowa PBS. “The Learning Neighborhoods program is an invaluable investment in the value we bring to those communities and to our state. We are proud to be included in this program and look forward to seeing how many more families we can help to succeed in school and to succeed in life.”

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. 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, multiplatform media and engagement tools that introduce children to career and workforce options and help them build everyday literacy skills. 

Over the next six months, each of the 14 awardees will receive $12,000 to develop action plans with state-level partners to extend the reach of Ready To Learn-funded resources, especially in low-income areas. They will attend virtual meetings as a cohort to exchange ideas and learn with and from one another. Upon approval of funding for 2024-25, organizations will receive additional funding to implement their plans with state-reaching partners, which may include state Departments of Education, childcare referral agencies, library systems, universities and others.

Iowa PBS joins these public television organizations in the Learning Neighborhoods program for Ready to Learn: 

Arizona PBS

Georgia Public Broadcasting

Idaho Public Television

Ideastream Public Media (Cleveland, OH)

KBTC (Tacoma, WA)

Kentucky Educational Television

Louisiana Public Broadcasting

Nebraska Educational Television

PBS North Carolina

Rhode Island PBS

South Carolina Educational Television Commission

WCTE/Central Tennessee PBS (Cookeville, TN)

WQED (Pittsburgh, PA)

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 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.