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PBS Kids puts emphasis on math in new awareness effort


As a crop of new math-based series become available to young kids, PBS Kids has launched It All Adds Up, an awareness effort that will support the development of early math and literacy skills in children ages two to eight from low-income families.

The initiative is launching alongside a recent PBS Kids survey suggests parents place less emphasis on math, since they view other skills as “the greatest predictor of achievement later in life,” ranking reading and literacy (26%) and the ability to pay attention and work hard (47%) as most indicative versus math (14%). The national survey of parents with children ages two to 12 also indicated that parents are less likely to support their kids’ math skills from the earliest ages, and that many parents have anxiety about supporting math learning at home.

In partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), PBS Kids will provide a set of free resources that include a new app for parents of early learners.

It All Adds Up will expand the impact of Ready To Learn, an initiative between CPB and PBS, with funding from the US Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. The initiative builds on the collection of more than 100 games and apps that PBS Kids and CPB have launched over the past two years through Ready To Learn. The effort also introduces new multiplatform tools, including the new PBS Parents Play & Learn App, a 3D-rendered online game called Ruff Ruffman’s Monumental Mini-golf, and a new team of experts called Math Mentors. All of these resources are accessible on PBS KIDS Lab, a site that aggregates games, apps and offline activities to help support math and reading learning. The site also offers gaming suites, each of which links a set of games across platforms – accessible through computers, mobile devices and interactive whiteboards – so that kids can engage with the same characters no matter the device.

The PBS Parents Play & Learn App is available for free for iOS devices and for Android phones and tablets, including both the Kindle Fire HD 7 and Kindle Fire HD 8.9.

The at-home initiatives are in line with the network’s Fall plans to launch Peg + Cat, an animated series that is designed to hone math skills among preschoolers.

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