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IdahoPTV Receives ‘Ready to Learn’ Grant to Support Early Literacy in Potlatch

Logo for the Ready to Learn initiative, PBS KIDS, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Idaho Public Television has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS to extend the reach and impact of PBS KIDS early learning resources to local communities. Over the next two years, contingent on congressional funding, IdahoPTV will collaborate with local partners to create a “Learning Neighborhood” in Potlatch, Idaho, that fosters a community-wide culture of learning at home, in the neighborhood, and within local systems and spaces. 

The program is part of the CPB-PBS Ready to Learn Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The 2020-2025 Ready to Learn Initiative is focused on connecting children’s media and learning environments to build key skills for success in school and life, including functional literacy, critical thinking, and collaboration, as well as showing children career options in age-appropriate ways. 

“We are so excited to have received the Ready to Learn grant, which will enable us to create a Learning Neighborhood in Potlatch,” says Kari Wardle, Education Manager at IdahoPTV. “This grant allowed us to launch our work in northern Idaho by hiring a full-time Education Specialist to serve regions 1 and 2. We look forward to working with the community in Potlatch and finding ways to support early learning.”

IdahoPTV Education Specialist in North Idaho, Lenea Pierzchanowski, says, “Our work in the Potlatch area will bring early childhood resources to an age group that is perhaps the most isolated in that region. This Learning Neighborhood will focus on developing skills and knowledge surrounding the world of work, functional literacy, critical thinking and collaboration.”

Idaho Public Television is one of 19 stations in the third and final cohort developing “Learning Neighborhoods” in the 2020-2025 CPB-PBS Ready to Learn Initiative, bringing the total number of station partners to 41. The other stations are Arizona PBS, Buffalo Toronto Public Media, Ideastream Public Media (Cleveland, OH), Iowa PBS, KBTC (Tacoma, WA), KLRN (San Antonio), Nebraska Public Media, PBS Charlotte (NC), Virginia Public Media, WEDU (Tampa, FL), WETA and WHUT (Washington, DC), WFYI (Indianapolis, IN), WIPR (San Juan, Puerto Rico), WOSU (Columbus, OH), WPSU (University Park, PA), WTCI (Chattanooga, TN) and WUCF (Orlando, FL).

“Idaho is such a wide and diverse state, and our education department continues to help families in the north and south, east and west,” says Jeff Tucker, General Manager of IdahoPTV. “Our strength is local, face-to-face assistance for specific communities. In the end, our goal is to help parents to be able to assist their kids to be ready for school and life. Parents are so important in a child’s life. One caring adult can do so much. But a group of caring and educated adults will all but assure a child’s success.”

“PBS stations are uniquely positioned to serve children, parents and caregivers in their local communities,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager of PBS KIDS. “These local partnerships help to ensure access to invaluable learning resources, supporting kids in their journey to discover new opportunities alongside their favorite PBS KIDS characters.”


About Idaho Public Television

An entity of the Idaho State Board of Education, Idaho Public Television is a statewide multimedia network with transmitters and translator stations that reach nearly 100 percent of all Idaho households with free over-the-air broadcast signals. IdahoPTV broadcasts across five digital channels through five full-power transmitters (KAID, Boise; KCDT, Coeur d’Alene; KIPT, Twin Falls; KISU, Pocatello; and KUID, Moscow) and offers streaming content and educational resources through its website: IdahoPTV is among the most-watched PBS affiliate networks per capita in the United States. The mission of Idaho Public Television is to “harness the power of public media to encourage lifelong learning, connect our communities, and enrich the lives of all Idahoans. We tell Idaho's stories.”

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for email updates.


PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through media and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can stream PBS KIDS for free anytime, no subscription required. A large collection of mobile apps and provide accessible content that spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers and caregivers, parents, and community – providing resources accessible anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About the Ready to Learn Initiative

The Ready to Learn Initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching low-income children. In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach, and research on educational effectiveness.