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PBS Launches Professional Development for PreK Literacy

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Extra Credit
Early Literacy Research

Is it ever too soon to start developing literacy skills in children? Research suggests not. The American Library Association provides links to several studies on childhood development, and the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children have set up a program called "Every Child Ready to Read" to promote early literacy.

More Information:

ALA Research Pages

PLA/ALSC Every Child Ready to Read Wiki

EduHound's Literacy Resources

--D. Nagel

PBS Teacherline and PBS Kids have combined forces to launch a new preschool literacy professional development program. Dubbed "Raising Readers: Preparing Preschoolers for Success," the program includes one asynchronous online course, available now, with two more courses slated to roll out later in the year.

Raising Readers: Preparing Preschoolers for Success is part of a five-year literacy initiative for preschoolers and young learners aimed at teachers, parents, and caregivers. It's funded in part through a grant from the United States Department of Education's Ready To Learn grant. It's supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, and the Ready To Learn Partnership.

PBS TeacherLine is an online resource that offers professional development services and other resources for teachers in K-12 and higher education. PBS Kids Raising Readers is an early literacy program that includes a television series, Web content, and a preschool curriculum designed to develop literacy skills in kids aged 2 to 8.

The first professional development course offered in the Raising Readers series, "Preparing Preschoolers for Success," focuses on preschool teachers and child care providers to help them "understand key concepts about early literacy and learn an array of practical strategies for developing children's early literacy skills." It was tested initially in a pilot program last fall involving 91 child care providers in four PBS markets.

"We received tremendous feedback from the child care providers who participated in the pilot," said Rob Lippincott, PBS senior vice president of education, in a statement released this week. "The course not only met its educational goals, but the participants' level of enthusiasm about the course, and their interest in pursuing further online professional development in early reading, was incredibly high."

The course includes guided instruction, video examples, online interactive content, and various activities. PBS stations in 10 DMAs are providing course offerings in conjunction with the program (Baltimore, MD; Oakland/San Francisco, CA; Toledo, OH; San Antonio, TX; Jackson, MS; Birmingham, AL; Carbondale, IL; State College, PA; San Diego, CA; and Buffalo, NY).

The first 12-hour course is available now through PBS TeacherLine for $129. The second course is expected in June, and the third is expected in September. Further information can be found at PBS Teacherline's site.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

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