PBS KIDS, PRX and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) are running a second edition of their podcast initiative in order to support five US pubcasters in developing new content for two- to eight-year-olds.
The Ready to Learn Podcast Accelerator is giving Ball State PBS (Indiana), East Tennessee PBS, KERA (Dallas), KSPS PBS (Washington) and WNET (New York) up to US$12,000 each, and 16 weeks of virtual training that will begin in mid-June. The goal is to help the channels build podcasts for kids based on concepts they have already submitted to PRX, PBS KIDS and CPB.
All of the projects are in development now. Ball State is exploring work and careers, while the one from East Tennessee focuses on families coping with incarcerated loved ones. KERA is working on a game show to teach kids language and teamwork skills, and KSPS will talk about the growing young immigrant and refugee population in Washington to teach residents about heritage and values. Lastly, WNET is making a fictional podcast series revolving around life lessons and food.
This is the second year for the podcast accelerator, which is part of a CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative funded by the US Department of Education. In 2021, the program trained six teams of indie creators that each produced a kids podcast series pilot.
More and more companies have been getting into children’s audio entertainment this year; Netflix launched its first podcast for kids in January, with Boston-based animation studio FableVision opening up an audio division that same month.