CPB, PBS announce $20M for initiative focused on low-income families

By Andrew Lapin

WASHINGTON, D.C. — CPB and PBS will devote $20 million to a new multiyear educational initiative combining PBS Kids and the American Graduate program to reach children in low-income families.

The money will support educational content for children, grants to stations for educational purposes, and resources for parents and families. A significant share of the resources for children and parents will be earmarked for Hispanic families.

PBS President Paula Kerger and CPB President Pat Harrison announced the initiative Monday during a PBS-sponsored dinner at the Public Media Summit, which ends Tuesday. The announcement came the evening before members of the Association for Public Television Stations prepared to visit Capitol Hill to discuss federal funding for pubcasting with elected officials.

PBS and CPB have dedicated the funds for at least two years. The announcement was timed before Capitol Hill Day to give station reps an example of pubcasting’s long-term commitment to education, Harrison said.

“We want you to be able to go to the Hill tomorrow and be able to look that legislator in the eye and say, ‘Public media has made a lifelong commitment. We are investing these monies for these young people, for our American young people now,’” Harrison said.

The emphasis on Hispanic communities grew in part from a recent survey PBS conducted of parents that found “great need” among Hispanic parents for additional services from pubcasting, Kerger said.

Kerger and Harrison did not say when the project would start or how the funds will be allocated, but CPB and PBS expect to release more details soon.

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