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Bright by Text, in partnership with WQED, offers kid-focused tips, games and guidance via text

Kristy Locklin
August26/ 2019

Photo via Bright by Text.

In this hectic world, a text message is sometimes the only thing parents have time to read.

Bright by Text, a free program that shoots expert tips, games, and information to caregivers’ phones, recently partnered with WQED to bring the service to Pittsburgh.

“WQED is part of a Ready to Learn grant through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and was able to partner with Bright by Text as part of this grant,” says Cathy Cook, manager of education projects.  “Several PBS stations from around the country are offering this Bright by Text service to communities as a way to stay in touch with families with both national and local messaging.”

Interested in receiving prenatal know-how or advice on managing kids 8 and under? Simply text WQED to 274448* to sign up. Each week, you’ll get three to five messages — in English or Spanish, targeted to your child’s age and zip code — with links to a detailed landing page, short videos and web addresses to related resources.

Topics range from health, nutrition and safety to emotional welfare, language and literacy. It’s also a way to stay up to date on local happenings, such as free museum days, health clinics and preschool open enrollment periods.

The texting program launched in Colorado in 2012 through childhood development organization Bright by Three. The combination of research-based curriculum and content comes from community partners, such as PBS Kids, Sesame Street in Communities, Vroom and Delta Dental.

The activities are fun and easy, with the goal of boosting a parent’s confidence and positively impacting a youngster’s development and school readiness.

Bright by Text expanded outside of Colorado in 2016. Other PBS stations in Arizona, California, New York, North Carolina and Texas are affiliated with the service, which now serves more than 57,000 subscribers.

“Adult caregiver interactions in the early years of life are so critical for child development,” says Jean McSpadden, president and CEO of Bright by Three. “We want parents to have the best research-based information right at their fingertips.”

Bright by Text is the latest in a series of multimedia tools WQED offers through PBS Kids, including apps, websites, toolkits and articles all accessible on digital devices. WQED also produces the television show “iQ Smartparent,” which focuses on parenting in the digital age. Cath up on episodes here.

Kristy Locklin

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