Tuesday, January 3, 2012





Additions include parent tools in Spanish, math learning tips, and blog posts

Expanding its PBS KIDS Lab site, which offers more than 50 cross-platform games designed to help children ages 2-8 build critical math skills, PBS today announced new additions that will provide even more support to caregivers and teachers. These include bilingual translations of parental instructions and resources like a “Home Activities” section, math tips for families to use in their daily activities, and a new blog series with content related to kids and media.  PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) are partners on this project, which is part of the Ready To Learn Initiative, a U.S. Department of Education-funded effort that aims to help kids build the skills they need for school success.

“Parents and caregivers play a critical role in supporting their children’s learning,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, Children’s Media, PBS.  “At PBS KIDS our goal is to offer families resources to help make anytime a learning time – whether it’s through an online game, or activity ideas that parents and kids can do together while they are out running errands.  The PBS KIDS Lab offers parents tools that are flexible to spark their kids’ imaginations and excitement about learning, and to help them build skills for success in school.”

Math has typically been a challenging curricular area for parents and caregivers to help their children better understand.  According to a recent study1, parents “may create fewer opportunities for children to learn about mathematics than language” and “concrete examples of how to maximize children’s mathematics interests would help parents overcome their mathematics anxieties and show parents why early mathematics education is important.”  To help parents support their children’s math learning, PBS KIDS recommends introducing number, counting and basic mathematical concepts by adding simple activities to a family’s daily routine like these five easy ideas, with more available on the PBS KIDS Lab site.

  1. When driving in the car, count the trees as you pass by.
  2. Call out street signs and identify their shapes.
  3. Count aloud the seconds it takes for a child to brush his/her teeth.
  4. Cook with the kids; count ingredients.
  5. Play grocery store with household items. Count out the change.

“By taking activities that children already enjoy and adding elements of play that foster a better understanding of math, we are bringing mathematical thinking into everyday life in a fun and natural way.  The combination of playing games through the PBS KIDS Lab site and then extending the games at home or in the neighborhood helps to create lifelong students of math,” said Debra Sanchez, Senior Vice President for Education and Children’s Content at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.   “Through the support of the Ready to Learn Grant in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, we are providing programming and content that actively engages young children in learning.”

Available for free, the PBS KIDS Lab (PBSKIDS.org/lab) is the largest offering of interactive math content for preschoolers to date with games that comprise several suites, each of which is centered around a beloved PBS KIDS media property – from CURIOUS GEORGE to THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!.  Each suite links a set of games across different devices and is built around a math framework, leveraging games on a variety of platforms to support key math skills. The Lab also aggregates games by age and skill area so that adults can search for the games that will be the best fit for their kids. Additionally, the site helps parents and teachers learn how the games support learning by providing details on the games’ curriculum-based content.

The PBS KIDS Lab furthers PBS KIDS’ efforts to innovate across platforms to both educate and entertain America’s children.  PBS KIDS is increasingly serving children wherever they live, learn, and play – online, on mobile devices, on TV, and in the classroom.

PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for children, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs.  For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

About CPB

CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting.  It helps support the operation of more than 1,300 locally-owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

About The Ready To Learn Initiative

The Ready To Learn Initiative is a grant program managed by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement.  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. U295A100025, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

1Cannon, J. & Ginsburg, H., Doing the Math: Maternal beliefs about early mathematics versus language learning, 2008.

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