Preparing Children for Success
One of our primary missions is to prepare young children to arrive at school Ready to Learn and to assist their parents, caregivers and teachers with ideas on how to be Ready to Teach.
Through research at the Carnegie Institute of Teaching we know that our award-winning programs like Arthur, Between The Lions, Clifford and Sesame Street are excellent tools for accomplishing these goals, but we educate far beyond the television set.
Since 1992, when Congress enacted the Ready To Learn Act, PBS has focused on providing programming and services uniquely designed for young children. A study by Dr. Ernest Boyer, former U.S. Commissioner of Education and president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, found that one in every three kindergartners lacked the skills necessary to succeed in school. PBS stations across the country were called upon to "prepare children to be ready to learn when they enter school."
Select a favorite, age appropriate program and watch it with your child. Ask your child questions about the characters, the action etc. Co-viewing can lead to lasting educational benefits.
Example: Say you and your child watch an episode of Clifford called Special T-Bone. Believing in yourself is the theme of the story. Talk about this idea with your child. Help your child tell you what makes him or her unique and why that's important.
Visit the library and select a book(s) that relates to the theme of the program. Read it together, discuss it, and ask questions. Or you can tell your child your own story.
Example: There are many books on feelings and self-esteem such as: All About You by Catherine and Laurence Anholt, I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont or The Way I Feel by Jana Cain. Ask your librarian to help you make selections.
Encourage your child to draw, write, sing, dance, to do anything creative that relates to the book or the program.
Examples: 1) Draw, color and/or select photos for a book or poster About Me; 2) Cut out dog bones and give them out when someone does something special; 3) Play a game by naming all the people who are special in your life; 4) Send a You Are Special card to a friend or family member.
If you can't think of a fun activity, select one of our Programs for Kids, then visit the corresponding website. Many PBS KIDS programs have online activities that are both fun and educational. Or if you prefer, contact WQPT—our staff can help provide you with ideas and resources.