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PBS KIDS Announces Request for Proposals for New Multiplatform Literacy Series
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ARLINGTON, VA; April 22, 2021  PBS KIDS has announced today a request for proposals (RFP) for an original, book- or game-based multiplatform property for preschoolers, with a curriculum focus on functional literacy. With this RFP, PBS KIDS is interested in working with creative teams who can bring unique voices, cultural experiences, and backgrounds to the series, including show creators from communities that have historically been underrepresented in children’s media.

“This call for proposals underscores PBS KIDS’ commitment to adding more voices to our community of creators and producers,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of Children’s Media and Education at PBS. “All children across America should see themselves represented on PBS KIDS through characters and authentic stories that reflect and celebrate their lived experiences.”

PBS KIDS is seeking a series that children ages 3-5 can explore in multiple ways, across television episodes, digital games, short-form video content, podcasts, hands-on activities, and more. The property’s curriculum should focus on functional literacy, or the everyday, practical literacy skills preschool children need at home, in the community, and beyond.

Content creators who have demonstrated a commitment to the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion are encouraged to submit their proposals, including content creators who have not yet worked with PBS, but who have a passion for educational and engaging storytelling. Prior industry experience is not required. The selected creator(s) will collaborate with PBS KIDS team through all stages of pilot development and production as the project is evaluated for series greenlight. 

PBS KIDS will host two informational webinars about this RFP and the functional literacy curriculum on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 2:30pm ET and Monday, May 3, 2021 at 1:30pm ET. Creators interested in pitching are encouraged to register and attend.

To access the RFP, in addition to more information about the literacy curriculum and the learning goals of this multiplatform series, creators may fill out this form. Proposals are being accepted by PBS KIDS from April 22 through June 18, 2021. 

This RFP and the forthcoming series are being developed as a part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. For the Ready To Learn Initiative, CPB and PBS are collaborating with children’s media producers and game developers to create dynamic educational content across a range of platforms – including video, games, podcasts, and hands-on experiences – to support early literacy skills for success in learning, work and life. This RFP is the first of several content-focused RFPs that PBS KIDS will issue in support of the Ready To Learn grant.  

PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through television, digital media, and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can watch PBS KIDS anytime on the free PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and the PBS KIDS Video app, available on mobile and connected-TV devices, no subscription required. PBS KIDS’ large collection of mobile apps and provide accessible content, including digital games and streaming video to spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers, parents, and community – providing resources to support children’s learning, anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit, or follow PBS KIDS on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.  

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed 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. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @CPBmediaFacebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for other updates.

About the Ready To Learn Initiative
The Ready To Learn Initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to 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 children living in low-income households. 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.



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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. S295A200004, CFDA No. 84.295A] provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.