MontanaPBS Educational Initiatives - Raising Readers

Montana PBS

MontanaPBS and the Montana State Library are collaborating on a summer project that will bring Super Why! morning camps for preschoolers and their caregivers, FWP afternoon camps for early school agers and public school teachers, and evening trainings for early child care providers to selected rural communities. These weeks will be capped with an appearance by, and activities with, one of the costumed PBS characters.

The collaboration with the Montana State Library, especially their early childhood literacy specialist, came about with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in an effort to provide the lessons learned from the PBS KIDS Raising Readers early literacy campaign to rural areas. MontanaPBS will also be hosting several other appearances by costumed characters this summer in those rural libraries that have had early childhood training and certification by the Montana State Library.

PBS KIDS Raising Readers is an initiative focused on using the power of media on the air, online, and on the ground to help build the reading skills of children ages 2-8. The initiative provides award-winning, engaging content with characters kids love. Research has shown that PBS KIDS content and services support the literacy achievements of young children, with at-risk children showing the greatest gains. The study found that preschoolers from low-income communities who participated in the PBS KIDS Raising Readers media-rich curriculum outscored their peers who did not participate in the curriculum on all tested measures of early literacy, such as naming letters and knowing their sounds. Furthermore, children who started out with the lowest literacy skills gained the most, learning an average of 7.5 more letters than children in the comparison group. Ultimately, the study showed that utilizing PBS KIDS Raising Readers content for both kids and teachers helps build critical literacy skills to better prepare children from low-income communities for success in kindergarten.


MontanaPBS has trained dozens of rural Montana teachers how to incorporate Mission US into their middle school social studies classrooms. Mission US uses game technology to help students enter the world of 1770 Boston and actually witness the Boston Massacre. Because of the design brilliance, students are actually learning the causes of the Revolution…lessons that are relevant in today’s world. MontanaPBS continues to seek and promote proven activities that will make a difference in student learning. More information is available at