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PBS Foundation Receives $1 Million Ford Foundation Grant for New PBS Digital Learning Library

Grant will help PBS develop a new initiative to deliver digital public media to the 21st century classroom

ARLINGTON, Va., September 22, 2009 — The PBS Foundation has received a $1 million grant from the Ford Foundation to help build the PBS Digital Learning Library, an online repository of trusted, public broadcasting-created educational content that teachers and students can easily access.

The PBS Digital Learning Library will be a comprehensive source of "learning objects," including video, audio, images, games, and interactive learning activities designed specifically for classroom use, delivered to teachers exclusively through local PBS stations. Stations currently offering digital media services, including WGBH’s Teachers’ Domain and Maryland Public Television’s ThinkPort, will begin delivering resources from the Digital Learning Library to teachers and learners in the 2009 school year.

The Ford Foundation grant provides initial seed funding for the development, rollout and management of the PBS Digital Learning Library system, and other critical support components to make this system available to PBS stations. Building upon PBS’s solid track record of developing award-winning, high-quality educational digital media through services such as PBS TeacherLine and PBS Teachers, the Ford grant will help PBS reach the goal of providing educators and students across the U.S. with a comprehensive curricular supplement for every subject taught from pre-K through grade 12.

PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said, “The PBS Digital Learning Library will build upon public broadcasting’s solid foundation in using media to help educate America’s children. Our goal is to make the library an invaluable resource for teachers, allowing them to use PBS’s engaging content to enliven their lesson plans and stimulate their students’ minds. PBS is eager to help America strengthen its schools and ensure its competitive edge in the global marketplace. We thank the Ford Foundation for their support.”

In addition to support from the Ford Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) will be providing content development grants to PBS member stations to develop content for the Digital Learning Library and PBS is working with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to ensure that content meets each state’s educational requirements and helping identify the critical communities where the Digital Learning Library is needed most. Video resources from the PBS Digital Learning Library will be short segments that are more classroom-friendly, and adapted to meet the needs of teachers and students in a 21st-century teaching and learning environment.

For more information or updates on the PBS Digital Learning Library, go to www.pbsteachers.org/dll.

About PBS Teachers
PBS Teachers (www.pbs.org/teachers) provides preK-12 educators a central Web destination to access PBS' educational services, including a searchable library of more than 9,000 local and national multimedia resources, and an online professional learning community where teachers can share ideas, collaborate, and discuss effective technology integration. Within the online community, educators can search for digital instructional resources, then easily bookmark, annotate, share and manage their tagged content. PBS Teachers is also home to the popular education blog Media Infusion (pbs.org/mediainfusion), which focuses on practical ways to integrate multimedia resources and technology into the classroom. Teachers can sign up for free membership in PBS Teachers to enjoy access to the PBS Teachers community and monthly webinars, and to receive discounts to ShopPBS for Teachers.

About PBS Foundation The mission of the PBS Foundation is to enlist philanthropic support of public broadcasting through establishing special initiatives funds and a permanent endowment to ensure PBS’ continued excellence, and to promote and enhance outstanding public broadcasting programs and services. Working collaboratively with member stations, the Foundation will secure the extraordinary funding necessary to maintain and enhance its commitment to serving the American public. The PBS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and a 509(a)(3) supporting organization of PBS. For more information, visit www.pbs.org/foundation.

About the Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

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CONTACT:
Kevin Dando, PBS, 703/739-5073, kdando@pbs.org

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