COMMENTARY: PBS Kids Has Still Got it!

pbskidsIt’s Friday afternoon and like all Fridays this summer, I’m struggling to find something interesting to watch on TV. There’s only so many re-runs one can watch without actually wishing that school was back in session. In between channel surfing and lamenting on days spent in the classroom furiously copying down chemistry notes, I stumble upon a channel I hadn’t bothered paying any mind to in some years.

Somewhere along middle school and now, I’d decided there were better things to watch in the vast pool of cable channels than enjoying some good old educational shows on PBS. Don’t get me wrong, PBS has produced some stellar television like Masterpiece Theatre since its launch. I adored Masterpiece and still do (Downton Abbey anyone?), but anything on the network regarding the PBS Kids block had lost its appeal to me as soon as I’d discovered Lizzie Mcguire and Even Stevens on the Disney Channel. Sitting in despair however, I realized I had nothing better to watch, so I resolutely dropped the remote and left the channel on PBS.

Arthur                                                   

Abby August 8The first show that caught my eye was Arthur, and I was surprised it stood the test of time. As that all too catchy theme song came on (“Every day when you’re walking down the street…”), I quickly remembered why it had been one of my favorite shows. Arthur is based on the book series by Marc Brown, and follows an eight-year old aardvark and his friends and family as they intermingle with each other and deal with different experiences and problems. Yes, Arthur is an aardvark, but he’s not your archetypal aardvark. For one he doesn’t go around eating ants, and is anthropomorphic meaning he has human attributes such as wearing his trademark jeans and yellow sweater and eating sandwiches and ice cream. [Read more...]

Kick Off Summer Reading with WordGirl

“WordGirl’s Ludicrously Literate Library Week,” a special weeklong programming event airing July 11-15 on PBS Kids Go!, will have the beloved heroine, picked as this year’s “Ambassador of Summer Reading,” pitted against various vocabulary villains.

Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic Inc., announced that in support of this five-day television festival celebrating reading and books, a new section will open on PBSKIDSGO.org where fans can answer trivia questions to unlock a secret spaceship with loads of exclusive content.

This is the second time that WordGirl is serving as the national Ambassador of Summer Reading. The special weeklong event will kick off PBS Kids’ continuing programming that promotes summer reading.

WordGirl is an animated series that helps children build their vocabularies. For descriptions of the new episodes, or for more information, click here.

Scholastic’s Second Annual WordGirl Definition Competition

Scholastic Media is launching its second annual WordGirl Definition Competition, a live virtual event that will challenge students’ vocabulary. The event, for kids in grades 1-3, will take place on Wednesday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m. ET at Scholastic’s New York City headquarters, and will be streamed to thousands of classrooms nationwide via a live webcast.

The competition will be held in a game-show format, hosted by WordGirl and Beau Handsome of WordGirl’s “May I Have a Word” segment. Contestants will test their vocabulary skills through word usage, reading comprehension, definitions, and the use of words in different contexts. Classes across the country will play along in real-time by submitting answers online during the webcast. Classes and their answers may be called out during the event.

Teachers can register for the free webcast here. All teachers of grades 1-3 who register will automatically be entered into the WordGirl Definition Competition sweepstakes for a chance to win books and prizes for their school or classroom.

For official rules, click here.

WordGirl Receives Comic Book Series Through BOOM! Studios

Scholastic Media has announced that superhero series WordGirl will receive a comic book series this fall through BOOM! Studios. WordGirl comic books and graphic novels will be available throughout the U.S. and Canada, ranging from $2.99 to $9.99. The comics will feature all-new storylines.

The deal follows the announcement that the WordGirl series has received three 2010 Daytime Emmy Award nominations. The series was awarded a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Writing in Animation in 2008. WordGirl airs daily on PBS.

BOOM! Studios recently launched it BOOM Kids! imprint in spring 2009. The imprint serves as a home for BOOM!’s kid-friendly content.

“WordGirl” Nominated for Three Emmy Awards

Scholastic Media’s WordGirl has been nominated for three 2010 Emmy Awards, the third year the series has been nominated.  The series is nominated for “Outstanding Children’s Animated Program,” “Outstanding Writing in Animation,” and “Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program” for Ed Asner’s performance as Kid Potato. In 2008, WordGirl won an Emmy Award for “Best Writing in Animation.”

The series airs five days a week on PBS KIDS GO!. New episodes are set to air in July.

The Daytime Emmy Awards will be telecast on June 27th on CBS from the Las Vegas Hilton.

Scholastic Presents an Elementary Showdown for “Word Domination”

On May 11, students in the first, second, and third grades will compete in Scholastic’s WordGirl Definition Competition, battling for “word domination.”

Inspired by WordGirl, which airs daily on PBS Kids Go!, the WordGirl Definition Competition will be held in a game show format and hosted by WordGirl herself, as well as Beau Handsome of the “May I Have a Word” segment of the show. The event will consist of three short rounds and a one-minute bonus round, challenging contestants in questions pertaining to word usage, reading comprehension, definitions, and using words in different contexts.

[Read more...]

Scholastic Celebrates Earth Day with WordGirl

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Scholastic has announced that its TV series, WordGirl, will “fight the forces of planetary pollution” with an eco-themed episode titled “Earth Day Girl” that will air April 22 on PBS KIDS GO!. An “Earth Day Girl” early reader book from Scholastic and DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment will also be available.

In the “Earth Day Girl” episode, when the Birthday Girl learns that the Earth is having a special celebration (on her birthday!) she decides to teach the Earth a lesson. Will WordGirl find a way to stop the Birthday Girl and save Earth Day?

The WordGirl Earth Day Girl DVD gives fans a glimpse of the title episode and also includes seven new-to-DVD adventures, each of which introduces four new vocabulary words and reinforces their meanings in a variety of contexts. Special features include interactive games, video shorts, and coloring pages.