Raising Readers

Child and parent reading.WFSU was named a PBS KIDS Raising Readers station in 2007, a literacy initiative designed to harness the power of public media content and tools to teach literacy skills to children ages 2 to 8, especially those from low income families. The Ready To Learn grant encourages parents and caregivers to take actions that will help children acquire critical reading skills. Only 20 stations were selected across the United States and in January 2008, PBS KIDS Raising Readers rolled out in select areas nationwide, here in the Tallahassee area we have been targeting 5 zip codes: 32310, 32301, 32304 and in Gadsden County 32332 and 32351.

In addition to WFSU’s commitment within these targeted group, we have teamed up with the City of Tallahassee’s initiative “A Community That Reads.” Through this partnership we have reached thousands of students in their homes, at community events, literacy kick-offs and back to school events.

Community Partnerships

The WFSU/PBS KIDS Raising Readers campaign has included partnerships with many local and national companies to share ways for parents to help build their kids’ reading skills through everyday activities. Additional tools include parent, caregiver and educator-focused materials, such as DVDs, literacy tips, and activity books.

A local facet of this campaign has been the involvement of folks and businesses in our targeted zip code communities, especially the Walker Ford Community Center, the Character Center, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Wachovia Wells Fargo – it is our great hope that businesses all around our students and their families will continue to see that “learning happens, anytime, anywhere!"

Goals of the program

To achieve measurable results in improving literacy skills of these children in target markets, and build successful models that can be replicated across the country.

“Children’s literacy is strengthened when they are surrounded by an abundance of opportunities to practice their reading skills,” said Peggy O’Brien, CPB senior vice president of educational programming and services. “Public broadcasting stations throughout the country are taking a Literacy 360 approach; delivering messages and digital media content across several platforms to kids, parents, caregivers and educators where they work, play and live."

Pbs kids & multimedia content

Producers of some of the most imaginative educational programming ever created are working together in conjunction with literacy experts and researchers to develop content and tools that will engage kids and help them learn to read. You can find some of this content online at PBS Kids Island Raising Readers National Site.