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WHUT Selected to Receive Ready To Learn Grant to Support Early Literacy and Critical Thinking Skill

WHUT to Work with CPB, PBS to Develop ‘Learning Neighborhood’ plan



Washington, DC (November 1, 2022) – WHUT has been awarded a planning grant to develop a Learning Neighborhood plan to engage local partners and extend the reach and impact of PBS KIDS early learning resources in the community. WHUT will receive approximately $10,000 through the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Sean Plater, General Manager of WHUT-TV/Howard University Television said:

“We are extremely excited to receive this Learning Neighborhood grant. Education is a top priority for WHUT and this grant will allow us the opportunity to further develop our community partnerships and work together to provide resources to children across the DMV”. Plater also added that “this grant will allow us to continue our mission of providing services across the DMV that will truly impact these communities for years to come.”

WHUT is one of 24 PBS WHUTs across the country to receive training and guidance to research and develop a proposal for a “Learning Neighborhood,” a collaborative effort with community partners to foster a culture of learning at home, in the neighborhood, and within local systems and spaces. In a second phase of the project, 18 proposals will be selected for funding in 2023-2024, joining 22 other WHUTs that launched Learning Neighborhoods in 2020 and 2021.

“Learning Neighborhoods foster a ‘Learn Together’ theme. Public television WHUTs and local partners leverage public media content. characters, events, and activities to encourage children and adults to learn anytime and anywhere in their neighborhoods and communities, said Debra Tica Sanchez, CPB’s Senior Vice President of Education and Children’s Content. “The planning process helps WHUTs formalize their connections with community partners to best serve kids and families now and in the future.”


"At PBS KIDS our goal is to use the power of media to help children learn lessons that last a lifetime,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS KIDS. “These planning grants will help WHUTs create partnerships with local organizations across the country, providing access to high-impact learning resources for children, parents, and caregivers in their communities.”

This effort is part of a five-year grant awarded to CPB and PBS through the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready To Learn Initiative to develop new multi-platform media and engagement tools that introduce children to career and workforce options and help them build everyday literacy skills. The effort will empower and equip parents, caregivers, and communities to support children’s learning and growth in these areas through a network of “Learning Neighborhoods,” and conduct efficacy research on the newly produced educational resources.

About WHUT

WHUT-TV, Howard University Television was founded in 1980 in Washington, D.C. as WHMM. At its inception, the station became the first public station in the United States to be licensed and operated by a historically black college and university (HBCU) - Howard University. The station broadcasts reach over 2.5 million households in a 60-mile radius. The station endeavors to underscore Howard University's overall mission in its commitment to excellence in truth and service. More information about WHUT is available at whut.org or by following WHUT on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices.

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 WHUTs 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 cpb.org, follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for email updates.

About PBS KIDS 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 television, digital 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 watch PBS KIDS anytime on the free PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and the PBS KIDS Video app, available on mobile and connected-TV devices, no subscription required. PBS KIDS’ large collection of mobile apps and pbskids.org provide accessible content, including digital games and streaming video to spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local WHUTs across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers, parents, and community – providing resources to support children’s learning, anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit pbs.org/pressroom, 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.


The contents of this release were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant (PR/AWARD No. S295A200004, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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