Community Collaboratives for Early Learning & Media

To most effectively meet the needs of children at the local level, the project team is establishing Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media (CC-ELM): an innovative model of local collaboration designed to extend the reach and impact of RTL content with high-touch, needs-based, community engagement strategies that can be developed locally and scaled nationally.

Each CC-ELM consists of local networks of community partners – including organizations focused on home visitation, family health, and early learning, community technology, as well as museums and libraries – working to give all kids the best possible start. Within each Collaborative, public media stations serve as the educational media partner and work to embed RTL's rich resources into effective community programming that serves low-income children and families. A series of outreach interventions designed for informal/formal learning environments are being implemented in communities nationwide, including Family Creative Learning workshops, camps for after school and summer learning, and flexible activities designed to work in a variety of formats that expand the reach, use, and impact of the assets.

CPB and PBS will build on best practices in community engagement to maximize impact with audiences and work with the Collaboratives to infuse these practices in their multi-year community-based projects. Through ongoing, reciprocal, and strengths-based methods with their partners, the Collaboratives leverage RTL assets to encourage family participation in early learning; allow opportunities for families to share their knowledge, skills, and culture; help parents develop a home learning environment; and provide training to community partner staff to help them fully engage with families. To strengthen community awareness of the importance of early science and literacy skill-building and the role families play in a child’s learning, stations will customize national Ready To Learn materials, such as training videos and on-air spots, with examples of local efforts. Stations will also build local awareness through social media and events, such as Back To School nights or National Summer Learning Day.

Collaboratives will share their experiences with each other and with the public media system as a whole, increasing stations’ capacity to serve the needs of children in their communities and facilitating the sharing of best practices so that successful models can be adopted and scaled in other communities across the country. CPB and PBS will facilitate this sharing through workshops, conferences, webinars, and virtual communities.