Friday, May 9, 2008

Free Resources for Libraries from PBS Kids!

Mary Haggerty, Outreach Director, WGBH Boston
Holly Cachimuel, Outreach Coordinator and Educational Outreach, WGBH Boston

From the Educational Outreach Department. They work very closely with librarians in focus groups to develop their programs and resources. If you are interested, they are looking for librarians to work with them in focus groups, field test resources, and review resources and activities.

They create kids series and resources for parents, teachers, and kids. We discussed Arthur, Between the Lions, Curious George, Martha Speaks, Fetch with Ruff Ruffman, Design Squad, Peep and the Big Wide World. All of these shows have great websites with resources for parents, teachers, and librarians. Go to the PBS Kids website to find websites for each show and the accompanying activities and resources.

Arthur's upcoming season will have a theme of environmentalism and health. Episodes will encourage kids and families to ride bikes, eat healthy, exercise, and discuss how to manage asthma and allergies. Lance Armstrong will guest voice a bunny character on the new season.

Librarians can go to to find reading suggestions, activities, and party ideas that accompany Arthur themes and episodes.

Between the Lions is designed to help children learn to read and has been shown to increase children's early literacy learning. Parents, teachers, and librarians can find information about the show's educational philosophy, activities, read aloud ideas, and ideas for integrating the show into reading curriculum at the Between the Lions website.

In addition to children's shows, PBS also has a couple of adult programs with library-related initiatives. One of them, We Shall Remain, from American Experience, will premier in April 2009 and will be a series of 5 documentaries focused on Native American history. Series involves Native filmmakers, librarians, and authors. They were advised by Loriene Roy, new ALA president, in the development of the series and library initiatives. All public libraries will receive We Shall Remain kits this fall.

For those of you from the 70s and 80s generation, Electric Company is coming back! Woo-hoo! WNET from New York will produce the new show.

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