WASHINGTON — April 15, 2015 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) today commended the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for including Ready To Learn in the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Ready To Learn is a competitive grant program at the Department of Education that invests in research-based educational media content to build the math and reading skills of children between the ages of two and eight, especially those from low-income families.
“The Association of Public Television Stations is deeply grateful to the HELP Committee for preserving Ready To Learn as a stand-alone program preparing America’s children for success in school and in life,” said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. “We’re especially appreciative of the bipartisan leadership of Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who offered the amendment to continue Ready To Learn, Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Al Franken (D-MN) and Bernard Sanders (I-VT), who co-sponsored it, and HELP Committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) for their leadership in securing broad bipartisan support for the Ready To Learn amendment in the committee.
“The fact that this amendment was accepted by voice vote, without opposition, is further evidence of the growing consensus in Congress that public television provides unique, highly successful and cost-effective responses to some of our nation’s most urgent challenges, especially in education and public safety,” Butler said. “We hope the full Senate and House of Representatives will follow the HELP Committee’s lead and support the continuation of Ready To Learn and the broader public service mission of public television.”
Ready To Learn has supported the research, development, creation and academic rigor of public television’s high quality on-air, online, mobile and on-the-ground educational content for children including, Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, Between the Lions, The Electric Company, Super Why!, Peg + Cat among others. Numerous studies have shown that use of Ready To Learn created content improves math learning and early literacy skills, helping to bridge the achievement gap and prepare kids to succeed in school. In 2014 alone, 22.4 million children across the country ages 2-11 viewed Ready To Learn television content.
Ready To Learn is a unique national-local partnership with a proven record of helping to close the educational achievement gap between children from low-income families and the rest of the student population. Ready To Learn helps teachers and caregivers make the most of public television’s media resources in schools, pre-schools, homeschools, Head Start and other daycare centers, libraries, mobile learning labs and “apps,” Boy and Girls Clubs, and community centers. Since 2005, more than 80 research and evaluation studies have shown that Ready To Learn literacy and math content engages children, enhances their early learning skills and allows them to make significant academic gains.
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. APTS represents the overwhelming majority of the 171 public television licensees nationwide. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – strategic planning, research, advocacy and communications activities to foster strong and financially sound noncommercial television. APTS also works to ensure member stations’ commitment and capacity to perform essential public service missions in education, public safety and civic leadership for the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.