HARLINGEN, RGV- Public Broadcasting Service has released in-depth information outlining how significant its programming can be for developing and enriching the nation’s youth.

Responding to a request for information from the Guardian that verifies its role among its youngest viewers, PBS transmitted numerous reports that show a marked improvement in math, literacy, numeracy and phonics skills.

The Guardian has posted links to those reports.

The role PBS plays in helping with a child’s education has come into sharp focus in the Rio Grande Valley due to the fact that the local PBS station, KMBT-TV, could be sold and “over the air” PBS programming could be lost. This would impact low-income families the most. It is estimated that one in five viewers of PBS in the Valley watches “over the air,” rather than via cable or satellite.

Translating the data from some of PBS’ most popular programs, children who watched the PBS KIDS preschool series SUPER WHY! scored 46 percent higher on standardized tests than those who did not watch the show.

After viewing episodes of Sesame Street, children increased their ability to articulate scientific concepts by 100 percent.

A recent study found that children who watched episodes of the PBS KIDS series Curious George scored better on a test of the science and math concepts covered than children who did not watch the episodes. The study also found that Curious George enabled parents to become more comfortable helping their children learn science and math.

The majority of parents whose children watched the episodes (86 percent) or read the TV tie-in books (84 percent) reported that Curious George helped them feel more confident that they could help their children learn about science and math.

View the entire report here: www.pbs.org/parents/curiousgeorge/program/research.html)

“This is the way of the future: harnessing every single resource, both local and national, and every single platform, to serve the American people with quality content,” said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger at PBS annual meeting in 2013. “For so many families across the country, we are a window to the world, a path to the future, and a trusted part of their community.”

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Recent research studies:

A recent study found that the use of PBS KIDS content in the classroom improves early math skills in preschool children. Key findings of the 2013 study entitled “Preschool Teachers Can Use a PBS KIDS Transmedia Curriculum Supplement to Support Young Children’s Mathematics Learning: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial” found that

· Children who used the PBS KIDS math supplement, which incorporated videos, digital games, interactive whiteboards, laptop computers, teacher support, and hands-on math materials, improved significantly in their understanding of the targeted early mathematics skills compared to the control group.

· Children who used the same technology without the integrated math materials did not experience the same learning gains compared to the control.

· Teachers who used the math supplement reported significant changes in their confidence and comfort with early mathematics concepts and teaching with technology.

A copy of the study can be found here: http://cct.edc.org/sites/cct.edc.org/files/ms-resources/TransmediaMathStudy_0.pdf)

A study conducted by Education Development Center, Inc. and SRI International demonstrated “measurable improvement” in a preschool child’s literacy skill development when participating in a media-rich PBS KIDS literacy curriculum combined with professional development.

The research evaluated content and interactive games from PBS KIDS series in 80 preschool classrooms with 398 children from low-income families. The curriculum combined teacher training with six different activities, integrating media from PBS KIDS series.

Children who participated in the literacy curriculum outscored children in the comparison curriculum on all five measures of early literacy used in the study. Four of the five differences were significant, including:

• naming letters;

• knowing the sound of letters;

• knowing concepts of story and print; and

• recognizing letters in a child’s own name.

A copy of the study can be found here: http://rtl.cct.edc.org/pdf/RTLEvalReport.pdf)

A study of the Electric Company Summer Program showed kids grew significantly in their knowledge of math vocabulary (41 percent), numeracy skills (20 percent), and phonics skills (17 percent).

A copy of the study can be found here:

http://www-tc.pbskids.org/lab/media/pdfs/research/Year1-WestEd-TECFullReport.pdf)

The above story was written by Rio Grande Guardian reporter Joey Gomez.