KTWU receives award for program targeted at children, families

Community Service Barbara Kanelakos, KTWU Education and Outreach service coordinator, stands in front of materials used in a Ready to Learn workshop

Paige Stonerock

KTWU has been chosen to receive the 2007 Governor’s Award for Exemplary Service to Children and Families for its Ready to Learn program.

The PBS program offers workshops that teach parents, teachers and childcare providers a three-fold “View-Read-Do” approach to prepare children to excel in school.

Sally Paige Kahle with Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services nominated the program for the award.

“It is the only program in the nation which links what children watch on television with pre-literacy and literacy activities. That is, it teaches children the connection between television watching and reading books,” said Kahle in a press release.

Throughout last year, KTWU workshops have trained 900 people who collectively care for 19,580 children. With the help of Kansas SRS, KTWU has provided 20,000 free books to workshop participants and Head Start and Early Head Start children in Eastern Kansas.

“It also teaches adults how to reinforce and nurture that connection,” said Kahle.

This is the second award KTWU Ready to Learn has received. Last year, the program received the Award for Collaborative Excellence from Head Start.

Barbara Kanelakos, Education and Outreach services coordinator, says she would like to bring the program to early education classes and young parents at Washburn. Currently, Ready to Learn workshops are offered to groups for a fee.

The award will be given to KTWU and the other two Kansas Public Broadcasting stations at the Governor’s Conference for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Nov. 6-8 in Topeka.

Activity habits of program participants:

-read books together 35 percent more often, or for an average of 46 minutes more each week

-frequented libraries and bookstores more

-watched 40 percent less TV, but watched 25 percent more educational programs that prepared their children for school.