KNPB visited PreK to 3rd grade classrooms with the intent on getting kids excited about learning at an early stage in their academic career. The lessons conformed to the teachers’ current curriculum, yet the lessons were adapted and created on-the-spot to tailor the teachers’ needs and the facilitators were not required to have a background in education. In 2011, we decided we wanted to expand and amplify the Ready To Learn program. We created “lessons-in-a-box” based on Common Core State Standards that the teachers could choose ahead of time on our per-grade menus. The lessons all follow the model of “read, view, do” in order to reach visual, kinetic, oral, auditory, or even sometimes olfactory learners. For example, if the children were learning about geology in class, we would bring a lesson on weathering and erosion. It would start with a read-aloud and would by followed by a PBS Kids video and hands-on activity.
With this expansion, we added 4th grade workshops to our offerings. The facilitators are likewise required to have a degree in education now as a way of ensuring a level of consistent efficacy in lesson performance. By doing so, we were able to see more of an impact on students as they absorbed the novel lessons plans. KNPB coming to the classroom is a special day at school for the students, making lessons more exciting. This resource is especially impactful for underfunded schools which have limited resources or may be disenchanted by learning. Many of the Ready To Learn classrooms also sign up for our Martha Speaks Reading Buddies program where upper-level students are big buddies for students in lower grades to foster literacy and endear them to literature as it grows to become major part of their lives.