Hispanic media entity scores money to educate kids


The U.S. Department of Education just announced a $72M grant to PBS and CPB to develop educational material for children. Now comes word of a $30M grant to the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc. (HITN) for the same purpose.

As with the other grant, the purpose is to build skills in reading and math among the 2-to-8 year-old group. An important segment of that group as far as HITN will be concerned is English Language Learners, or ELL.

“Our goal is to help close the achievement gap. As a former educator, I know it’s important to create quality content that helps childcare providers, parents, grandparents, and teachers prepare kids for kindergarten and reinforce reading and math through elementary school,” said HITN President and CEO Jose Luis Rodriguez. “Many kids are already reading and watching stories about Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends and Nova the Robot. Now they can interact, direct the story, and learn via a variety of platforms. I am also excited about producing a new product specifically for ELL.  This will be student-centered learning and family support at its best.”

Television is just one part of the multiplatform approach HITN is prepared to pursue. It will also include books, iPAD/Touch Screen applications, mobile device and phone applications, console and hand held gaming applications, sing along DVDs and CDs, and an interactive Website.