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Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Thanks to my new friends at Fatherly for their latest post entitled, “The Creator of ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’ on Keeping Fred Rogers’s Message Going”.

I sat down last week to speak with Fatherly’s Carlos Mejia about perspective, inspiration and the value of Public Broadcasting. Fatherly is a “parenting resource for men who understand that embracing what they’ve become doesn’t mean giving up who they are.” Enjoy!

The Creator of ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’ on Keeping Fred Rogers’s Message Going

by: Alexandra C | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids

 

Miss Elaina aka Addison Holley

Miss Elaina is an impulsive & imaginative preschooler. She has a big heart and even bigger ideas! Behind the adorable pigtails is the talented voice actor, Addison Holley.

We had the opportunity to ask Miss Elaina’s Addison a few questions about herself and her role on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

 

Hiya toots! How old are you and where are you from?

I am 12 yrs old and live in Burlington, Ontario, which is just outside of Toronto.

 

How are you similar to your character, Miss Elaina?

I have fun playing Miss Elaina because we share a lot of the same personality traits. One being we both have big personalities! We also both love playing with our friends. Oh, & we both like doing cartwheels. However I don’t do everything backwards!

 

If you had to pick one favorite episode, which would it be?

I love them all, but if I were to choose one I would have to say the Thank You Day episode. I really liked the message it sent.Miss Elaine & Daniel Tiger Family

 

What’s your favorite book?

My favourite book is A Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

 

When you’re not in the studio recording, what’s your favorite activity?

I love to dance, hang out with my family, play with my dogs, and draw!

 

ADDISON HOLLEY is 12 yrs old & has enjoyed every second that has been spent in the world of entertainment, as her passions include voice work, on camera & live stage where most recently she played Emilie in War Horse. Currently she can be seen in many animated series such as My Big Big Friend as “Lily”, Ella the Elephant as “Ella”, and Peg+Cat as “Tessa”.

Knowing the history of where Daniel Tigers Neighborhood originates from makes it even more special knowing the role Mister Rogers played in children’s lives. Some of her on-camera work include TV series work such as Baxter and Really Me (both on family channel), a reoccurring role on My Babysitters A Vampire, & a short film “Rosie Takes The Train”.  Addison also adds dancing to her list of loves and spends a lot of her time training in all styles.

 

At the end of October 2011, I was asked to make a statement at a US Senate hearing on The Value of Public Media in Education. While 170 million Americans watch, listen to or use the services & programming of public service media each month, the importance of federal funding is clear, regardless of party affiliation. Federal funding for PBS is on the chopping block yet again. Here’s my speech from 2011 about how it has affected my life and so many more!

US Senate

I am Angela Santomero.

I am a Mom.

I am the creator of quality educational media.

I am a dreamer.

I am a teacher.

I am the result of PBS.

 

 

The first official meeting of the CPB board was held on April 26, 1968 – the day I was born.

The Mister Rogers Neighborhood PBS program debuted and my mother put me in front of the television set, at 3 months old, in my infant seat.  Halfway into the program she said to my Dad, “I know she’s learning.  I’m not sure what, but I can see her learning.”

I did learn.

Because of Mister Rogers I learned that I was special.  I learned that someone liked me just the way I was.  I learned what to do with the mad that I feel.  I learned to be respected for my feelings.  I learned that someone out there understood me, a child, in this world of adults.

My brother was born when I was 14.  I was fascinated by him.  My first real child development case study.  I watched him as a preschooler, kick at the television set because of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  It was at that moment that I knew.I knew I wanted to positively harness that power of tv and give back to children what Mister Rogers gave to me.  Enough bombardment, to use Freds words, we needed smart shows for kids that understood and respected them.  In 8th grade I was given an assignment to write a paper on a person who I admired.  I wrote about Fred Rogers.  I learned that he had a child development degree and a vision for how television could be used to educate.

Angela Santomero Fred Rogers PBSI grew up and followed in Fred Rogers footsteps.  I have a masters degree in child developmental psychology with a concentration on instructional technology and media from Teachers College, Columbia University.  I studied how children learn and how they learn from media.

My vision was to create the very best educational curriculum and put it on television with a show that millions of kids will want to watch and benefit from. PBS made this happen.

I wanted to be a teacher by harnessing the power of television.  I co-created Blue’s Clues in 1995 with a kindergarten readiness curriculum and in 2007 created Super Why for PBS with a  reading curriculum based on the skills the National Reading Panel deem critical.  Longitudinal studies of both shows, independently, proved that kids who watch the programs score better on standardized tests that kids who do not watch. Because of the opportunity given to me by PBS, kids are not only learning to read from Super Why, but loving the POWER to read.

I now have the great honor of working with the Fred Rogers Company creating Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, using Fred Roger’s socio emotional curriculum as the foundation.  Early research with teachers had them saying, “This is what kids need today.  They need to see expressions of love, of care, of trust.  Of time spent on a child’s feelings and their view of the world.”

I believe it is imperative to give children strategies to help them deal with anger, disappointment, how to cooperate and share.

Mantras to show love and to celebrate the wonder of being a child.  I believe in the whole child and teaching them how to think constructively and not what to think.  I believe in respecting children, empowering them, challenging them and loving them.  And I won’t rest until our shows are the most watched television shows that teach children the fundamentals of being the best they can be.Daniel Tigers Neighborhood

In a world that is so full of “bombardment” we need public television to be the light that leads the way for our next generation to grow with the belief in themselves, in who they are, what they feel, to learn empathy, understanding and to care.

Fred Rogers’ vision and insight into the magic of childhood is a national treasure for tens of millions of us children, because he used media and technology to reach into the homes and lives of kids nationally and not locally.  To quote Fred, “you are the only one like you. ”  If all kids grow up knowing and believing that, even if only through television, then we have done our job at PBS.

I am what happens when you continue to support PBS.Angela-Santomero

I am that little girl who absorbed these wonderful messages, good educational curriculum and was given a role model through television.
Fred Rogers on PBS inspired me and millions like me.

And I hope to inspire at least one more “me” to change the world.  One preschool show at a time.

 

If you are able, please consider signing the Parents Together Action petition to save PBS. Thank you!!

Hi. Come on in!

Our first (animated) baby turned 20 this year and it honestly feels like yesterday that a puppy named Blue was introduced to Steve for the very first time! So with Blue’s Clues now 20 and Nick Animation turning 25, how could I not sit down with Nickelodeon Animation Podcast’s Hector Navarro (@Hectorisfunny) to discuss the origins of Blue’s Clues and what made it stand out from the pack for such a period of time?!Nick Animation Podcast

While it’s true that our firsts are forever ingrained in our headspace, Blue, Salt, Pepper, Mailbox, Paprika, Tickety and the rest of the Blue’s Clues family will forever take up a little spot in my heart, regardless of their 2-Dimensionality.  And of course my BFF & co-creator, Traci Paige Johnson, joined us for our 40 minute talk below:

While Blue’s Clues changed the way kids interact with television, it changed the way I viewed the power of a medium that many gave little respect to.

Blues Clues LogoLord knows, my other kids (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super Why!, Creative Galaxy, Wishenpoof etc.) would have never been created without their older sibling teaching me, and many others, a lesson or two.

 Special thanks to Hector Navarro at The Nickelodeon Animation Podcast for being such an amazing host on this podcast!

iTunesscreenshot-2016-12-16-14-28-46 screenshot-2016-12-16-14-29-05

 

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids

Want a signed copy of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Nighttime in the Neighborhood”? Nighttime in the Neighborhood

To celebrate Halloween, you can win a signed copy of the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood book!!

To Enter:

  1.  Simply LIKE my Facebook page  (If you already have, thank you & jump to #2)

  2.  Tweet a costumed photo of your child over to me on twitter @AngelasClues with “@AngelasClues Halloween Giveaway” somewhere in the tweet by Wednesday Nov 2

I’ll sign a copy of the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood story, Nighttime in the Neighborhood” for the winner and post their winning photo on my site (winner chosen on midnight Tuesday 11-2).

By entering this contest, you agree to have your photo posted on AngelasClues.com.

All decision making will be final & entirely up to the discretion of our Fearless Judges: Mr. Willy Wonka & Miss Veruca Salt.

Good luck & have a Boo-tiful Halloween!

xo

Angela

Just in time, towards the end of our presidential election, the first Wishenpoof Music Video debuted this week, and as the lyrics state,

It all comes down to me, to be the best person that I can be.  I need to…Believe in Me.”

It dawned on me today that these lyrics underscore my entire career and why I create positive media for kids.  I want to give them the skills and the encouragement to change the world, and nourish them against the bad modeling that surrounds them on a daily basis, that goes beyond election time. AAP

Last week, The American Academy of Pediatrics, retracted it’s guidelines for toddlers & screen time saying it’s all about content, context and co-viewing.  The idea that the “interaction” of live video chat has a potentially positive effect even on babies, plays to my strength in the value of creating media that actively involves the home viewer to think along, sing-along, learn-along and master the skills we put on the screen.  If babies are benefiting from this type of interaction, imagine what we are doing for older kids when we create media that is specifically for them, that asks them to play along? In fact, according to Linebarger and Walker (“Infants’ and Toddlers’ Television Viewing and Language Outcomes”, 2005), “The recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics (1999) urging parents to avoid TV for children younger than 2 years old may be premature. The authors go on to state not only do these results further provide evidence that “television matters” (e.g., Anderson et al., 2001; Wright et al., 2001), it’s the interactive format that is the tipping point.  Formats such as “speaking directly to the viewer, providing opportunities to respond, and using and defining vocabulary words”.  Blue's CLuesThe interactive and participatory nature of all my shows, starting in 1996 with “Blue’s Clues” (Nick Jr), where Steve or Joe speak directly to the child were positively related to “expressive language production and vocabulary”, according to Linebarger.  Another Blue’s Clues study by my mentor, Dr. Dan Anderson, et al, has purported that regular viewers of Blue’s Clues benefit from a strengthened cognitive development,  Anderson states, “Blue’s Clues doesn’t only do well, but does good.”

By now, we can’t argue that kids do, in fact, learn from media, good and bad.  As the AAP states, it is all about content.   What we need to look for is the type of content that has the intent to teach – kind of like looking for “organic produce” or checking the labels of food to see what is exactly in there.  If you could “check the labels” of media, we want to look for the shows that are founded in curriculum, that does research, that understands what is put on the screen has enormous impact on the brains of the next generation. I guess because I’m such a research nerd, I’m more proud of the research and learning that has come out of each of my shows than the Peabody wins or Emmy nominations. Super Why, our long running PBS Kids show is grounded in what the National Reading Panel deems critical to reading success, and has thus been proven to teach kids to read.   The Annenberg study, which was headed by Deborah L. Linebarger, Ph.D., Director of the Annenberg Children’s Media Lab, determined whether young viewers learned the key early literacy content in the show, such as letter names and sounds, rhyming, and matching spoken words to print and whether they applied their learning in their daily lives.  Dr. Linebarger has said, “The format of Super Why! provides kids with an engaging platform that fosters literacy skills, resulting in learning the content featured in the program as well as applying that content to other contexts.”

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Conferences, Creative Galaxy, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

This year at Kidscreen Summit I feel like I’m back in Kansas! I’ve seen so many familiar faces from my travels within the kids entertainment biz. This year the summit is taking place down south in Miami, FL.

Kidscreen Summit is renowned as the kids entertainment industry’s most important annual event. In 2015, the conference welcomed just over 1,700 attendees from 54 countries.

On Thursday, February 11 at 2:15 pm, I’ll be stepping away from Final Draft and jumping into game mode for Kidscreen’s 20th Anniversary Trivia Challenge!Screenshot 2016-02-10 22.25.24

Who else should host The Trivia Challenge, but none other than my friend, David Kleeman. He will test players from the industry, as well as myself, quizzing them on the past couple decades of industry news.

Joining me up on stage will be Daniel Bays (Creator, Writer & Showrunner BBC), Andrew Kavanagh (CEO & Founder Kavaleer Productions), Flavio Medeiros (Director of Programming & Acquisitions Discovery Kids Latin America), Adina Pitt VP, Content Acquisitions & Co-Productions Cartoon Network) and Dave Skwarczek (Executive Producer Eat Your Lunch).

Kidscreen’s 20th Anniversary Trivia Challenge promises to be a fun and tidbit filled session, so come on over if you’re attending Kidscreen in Miami!

 

“Don’t leave without coming to this! You could be on our audience team & compete for free KSS17 registration!”@davidkleeman

“How Do You Make a Hit Children’s Show?” is the question I typically hear from parents, students, artists and writers as I meet them for the first time. While everyone’s got their own system to create educational media for children, I shared mine this week at The 4th Annual International Children’s Media Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, via live stream.

I was excited to journey outside my typical neighborhood with this project because a key to a better tomorrow lies within the education and happiness of children, on a global scale.

During the talk, I mentioned the importance of understanding one’s vision and the necessity of creating aspirational characters. Using Blue’s Clues, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super Why!, Creative Galaxy & Wishenpoof as tangible examples of how I implemented such features, I explained their characters’ development and how each show’s curriculum helped to enhance their stories. I typically allude to the secret sauce and timing when discussing my projects, which are both imperative to a “Hit Children’s Show”.

Screenshot 2015-11-25 09.54.42

 Special thanks to Hatice Şehime ÖZÜTLER (TRT Çocuk) for inviting me to share, amidst an educated panel, for this special project.

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids, Stuff We Love

Want a signed copy of “Happy Halloween Daniel Tiger”?

Happy Fall everyone!  Our 4th Annual Halloween Photo Contest almost snuck by me!

Happy Halloween Daniel Tiger

 

To Enter:

  1.  Simply LIKE my Facebook page if you haven’t yet (If you have, thank you & jump to #2)

  2.  Send a photo to me at Angela@AngelasClues.com – Subject: “Boo 2015” by Sunday 11-1

  3. DOUBLE your chances to win by simply tweeting:

“I entered my boo-tiful lil’ pumpkin in @AngelasClues’ #Halloween Photo Contest!  http://bit.ly/1ihpwgZ”

 

I’ll personalize a copy of my Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood story, “Happy Halloween Daniel Tiger” for the winner and post their winning photo on my site (winner chosen Monday 11-2).

By entering this contest, you agree to have your photo posted on AngelasClues.com.

All decision making will be final & entirely up to the discretion of our Fearless Judges: Mr. Willy Wonka & Miss Veruca Salt.

Good luck & have a Happy Halloween!

2015 Parents' Choice Awards

The Parents’ Choice Awards help parents make informed decision. This time around, they’ve given gold medals to PBS Kids’ Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Amazon Studios’ Creative Galaxy!!

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The Parents’ Choice Awards provide a service to the millions of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and caregivers all over this country who are time-pressed and simply don’t have even a moment to pre-screen every product they give the kids in their lives. Since 1978, this is where the Parents’ Choice resource has stepped in.Screenshot 2014-08-04 13.58.18

Needless to say, we are proud and honored to be listed among their Spring 2015 award winners!

“The Parents’ Choice Gold Awards are given to those books, toys, games, videos, software, magazines, audio recordings, and television programs that are judged as the highest quality, most appealing products in their genre. Criteria for judgments include the highest production standards, universal human values and a unique, individual quality that pushes the product a notch above others.”

-Parents’ Choice