Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

PBS Gets Kids `Ready to Learn' Stations Test Program Offering 10 Hours of Education Daily

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

PBS Gets Kids `Ready to Learn' Stations Test Program Offering 10 Hours of Education Daily

Article excerpt

LAMB CHOP, Barney and Big Bird are on the faculty. so are Mon, Dad and the nanny.

The Public Broadcasting Service is increasing its commitment to children's educational programming, and has begun testing its "PTV, The Ready to Learn Service on PBS" on 11 public television stations across the country (including WSIU in Carbondale).

The service includes continuous children's educational programs for 10 hours daily, Monday through Friday, with companion study guides for parents and caregivers to help children learn.

Local stations will work with their communities to customize offerings, extending PTV's educational benefits to everything from training workshops set up through community service organizations to magazines for parents.

PTV is a response to a 1991 report by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching that found one in three U.S. children enters school unprepared to learn because of poor language skills and inadequate emotional and social development.

"PTV is a giant leap forward toward meeting the goal that all children start school ready to learn by the year 2000," said Ervin S. Duggan, PBS president and chief executive officer.

PTV, available to 25 percent of the nation's households, is being extended to 37 more stations in january, making it available to half the nation. By 1996, it should be available on all public television stations.

"A key element of whether this is going to make a difference is the parent or the caregiver," said Ann Sunwall, manager of community relations for KTCA-TV in St. Paul, one of the test stations.

"We are not recommending that children watch any more TV," Sunwall stressed. "The key to the whole thing is choosing what you're watching and then using it - making it active rather than just watching."

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to watch the programs with the children and then work with them on related discussions, field trips, projects and games.

A "Sesame Street" show on family and home, for example, features a group of Navajo children telling about their families and things the families do together.

The accompanying study guide suggests encouraging children to explore different kinds of families and discuss how families and discuss how family members do things for one another, such as reading a story, making lunch and washing clothes. …

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