PBS Looks To Level The Pre-K Playing Field With Big Push Into Multi-Platform Programming

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While the rest of the world was glued to Apple’s product announcements yesterday, yesterday PBS received a multi-million-dollar, five-year federal grant to pursue its own brand of new media. It will finance educational programs across platforms — including mobile, television, and web content. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting obtained Department of Education funding through PBS Kids’ Ready to Learn initiative, which you know from it’s weird logo that features what appears to be Frankenstein’s little sister, and comes just weeks after Sesame Street announced it was changing zip codes and moving to HBO.

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According to Neilson, PBS’s programs reach more children ages 2 to 8, and more children in low-income households, than any other broadcaster. Over 50 percent of preschool-aged children in the U.S. are not able to attend preschool, and much of the new funding will go towards literacy and science programs targeted at disadvantaged children. The grant, which amounts to $19 million in its first year, intends to level the pre-K playing field for the nation’s kids, which is great. That being said, if TV programs can replace school attendance, you may have something to consider before you fork out tuition to your kid’s private preschool.

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