Davis: PBS is the leader in educational television
Regarding Matt Piper's article, "Salt Lake mom tries to fund show 'too educational' for networks" (Tribune, Aug. 1), public television's commitment to education has been unwavering.
PBS Kids treats its audience as citizens, not consumers, upholding public media's essential mission to the American public and setting itself apart from commercial broadcasting.
PBS is the number one source of content for preschool teachers and the number one place parents turn to for preschool video online. Independent research confirms that carefully vetted PBS content helps young children develop critical academic skills, showing that children from economically disadvantaged families benefit most of all. PBS is committed to giving all children the tools they need to learn reading, science, math and more, providing them with a greater chance to reach their full potential.
For the fourth consecutive year, the American public has named PBS the most educational media entity, the undisputed leader in children's programming and a trusted, safe place for children to watch television and visit online. Through content that kids, parents, teachers and caregivers value, PBS Kids helps prepare children for success in school and in life.
PBS and its nearly 360 member stations, such as KUED, are America's largest classroom, available to 98 percent of America's children, including those who can't attend preschool. By leveraging the tremendous power of media, PBS opens up the world to children in an age-appropriate way.
Studies bear out the educational value of PBS Kids programs. In a research evaluation, after viewing episodes from Sesame Street's recent STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) season, children increased their ability to articulate scientific concepts, such as hypothesis and investigation, by 100 percent. Children who watched "Super Why!" scored 46 percent higher on standardized tests than those who did not watch the show. Kids who played the Martha Speaks app increased their vocabulary as much as 31 percent in two weeks.
PBS Kids offers six literacy series and 11 series on science, technology, engineering and math. PBS consistently wins Daytime Emmy Awards, putting it atop all broadcast and cable networks for children's programming.
PBS is the number one source of TV and online content used by pre-K teachers in the classroom. In Utah, KUED carries the PBS mantle of education, reaching a diverse group of students and educators across the state with essential educational programs and resources to encourage lifelong learning.
KUED broadcasts trusted PBS Kids programs during the day as part of our instructional television service that meets core curriculum requirements through the Utah State Office of Education.
Through our Ready To Learn initiative, we conducted 59 parent workshops and Family Nights at Title I elementary schools and Head Start preschools this year to extend the education reach of PBS programs. These workshops reached 1,750 parents and 5,226 children and allowed us to distribute 3,273 free books.
KUED provides numerous educational children's activities and events around the state that encourage literacy and STEM learning. Our annual Reading Marathon, now in its 21st year, encouraged more than 1,700 Utah children to read a combined total of more than a million minutes this year alone.
KUED provides valuable tools and resources to teachers through PBS Teacher Line and PBS Learning Media. As part of our educational mission, we distribute KUED programs and curriculum materials to libraries and schools statewide.
KUED is proud to be Utah's largest classroom as part of the PBS educational mission. Empowering children for success in school and in life, only PBS Kids has earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. The educational value of public television, which has never catered to ratings, is indisputable.
Rebecca Davis is the interim general manager for KUED.