PBS SoCal Receives $1.3 Million in Grants From Overdeck Family Foundation and Heising-Simons Foundation To Fund the Compton Family Math Initiative

Allison Gray



Education Initiative Aims to Improve Educational Outcomes for Compton Children by Engaging

Families in the Development of Early Childhood Math Proficiency


Los Angeles, Calif. – July 15, 2019 – PBS SoCal, the home to PBS for Southern California and a content brand of the Public Media Group of Southern California, announced it received $1.3M in grants from Overdeck Family Foundation and Heising-Simons Foundation to fund The Compton Family Math Initiative. An expansion of PBS SoCal’s education service in Southern California, the two-year initiative aims to reach more than 6,000 Compton parents, children and community members and encourage early exposure to math to improve long term educational outcomes.

“A growing body of evidence illustrates that meaningful family and community engagement improves school readiness, academic achievement and graduation rates, especially for children from low-income families who are at risk of falling behind their peers in growth and academic development,” said Jamie Annunzio Myers, COO and Senior Vice President of Education and Engagement for the Public Media Group of Southern California. “We see a great opportunity to help the Compton community better support its young people and make them more successful in math – and in school.”

The Compton Family Math Initiative aims to close the achievement gap for young learners from low-income households by empowering families to fully integrate themselves into their children’s learning community, and increasing math proficiency and kindergarten readiness. PBS SoCal will provide access to high-quality, math-centric resources while offering fun learning opportunities and engagement experiences. Key components include introductory parent workshops and academies, creative family learning workshops, and fun family events centered around math. A digital hub will extend the reach of the initiative, making tools and forums available to parents and caregivers online.

Using its robust roster of STEM outreach programs as a model, PBS SoCal will create a complementary but distinct program that will contribute meaningful best practices and research to the developing field of Family Math. This initiative emphasizes the importance of community, collaboration, and content as well as the power of adaptive learning experiences, the amplifying effects of family engagement, and the critical role of partnerships to move the needle for children in Compton. Key partners of the initiative are the Compton Unified School District, Crystal Stairs Inc., Children’s Institute Inc. and the Compton Library.

The PBS SoCal early learning service, now in its tenth year, supports learning among young children who might not have access to preschool – which is important to success in school. The service provides learning tools, resources, and experiences – based upon educational PBS KIDS series that teach science, arts, math and social-emotional skills – to  children, families and educators across the region. During the 2018 – 2019 school year, PBS SoCal trained 450 educators and 1,000 parents to use educational resources at 43 workshops, nine parent academies and five family creative learning workshops. More than 2,000 children, parents and caregivers on June 22 attended the fifth annual Summer Learning Day, which took place at Downey’s Columbia Memorial Space Center. The annual event is aimed at preventing the summer learning loss, in which children lose academic ground. Additionally, on Sat., June 8, PBS SoCal celebrated the storytelling achievements of young students across the region through the 10th annual PBS SoCal KIDS Writers Contest for children grades K-3. Nearly 900 children across the state entered the contest and three of the winners will have their stories and illustrations animated to air on PBS SoCal later this year. 


PBS SoCal is a donor-supported community institution that is a part of Public Media Group of Southern California, the flagship PBS station for 19 million diverse people across California formed by the merger of PBS SoCal and KCETLink Media Group.  PBS SoCal delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. We offer the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Independent Lens, a broad library of documentary films including works from Ken Burns; and educational PBS KIDS programs including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George. Our programs are accessible for free through four broadcast channels, and available for streaming at pbssocal.org, on the PBS mobile apps, and via connected TV services Android TV, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.

The Public Media Group of Southern California (PMGSC) tells stories that matter through original programs that reflect the diversity of our region, and through the full schedule of trusted PBS programs. Our Southern California content channels PBS SoCal and KCET are available for free on internet-connected screens via the PBS Video App, and seven local broadcast channels. Our Link TV channel is available nationally on DirecTV and Dish Network.  A donor-supported community institution, PMGSC sparks the sharing of ideas at in-person cultural events and community conversations and delivers social impact through a variety of services including those that prepare our most vulnerable children for school.