My Projects

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, My Projects, Super Why!

Linda Simensky, Vice President of PBS Kids programming, is one of those people who has been inspiring creatives all of her life.  I first met her at Nick Jr where she gave me great advice when I was creating Blues Clues.  She talked with me and my co creators about our BIG meeting we were to have with the network.  She offered us pointers, tips and insight into our pilot.  There’s no doubt about it, Linda was instrumental in getting Blues Clues on the air.

12 Years later, when Blues Clues went on hiatus, Linda (now at PBS) asked me what project was next.  I talked with her about a reading show that had been my Masters Thesis.  I gave her a copy of the pitch materials.  Months later, as I was still contemplating my next career move, the phone rang…Linda.  She said that PBS wanted to do the literacy show.  Was I interested?  I literally dropped the phone on my toe.

It was comforting to hear Linda discuss her belief in our vision. Especially when my little Blue puppy was taking a little R&R.  She discussed that while it was important to her that we create a show that kids would want to watch, it was more important that we teach them to read & LOVE to read.

I was thrilled and inspired by Linda’s passion.  Linda has been a champion of developing educational shows with a sense of purpose, clever humor, great characters and interesting storylines.  She has been inspiring producers for a long time.  She has a gift and I’m honored to be a part of her circle.

Alright, enough of the love-in…check out my interview with The Linda Simensky on The Parent Show.

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, My Projects, Parenting

As you well know, this Sunday is the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. While it remains difficult for us to make any sense out of such a dark day, the flood of conversation will undoubtedly reach our childrens’ ears.

But how do we even begin to discuss these issues?

I sat down with my graduate school adviser,  Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, who is also the VP of Research and Education at Sesame Workshop to open up this discussion.

The bottom line?

– Listen more than talk

– Our kids need to feel safe, secure and assured that their thoughts matter

– Shield them from age inappropriate images and stories

– Be there for them – whole heartedly.  Life is short…and precious

See my interview with Dr. Truglio on PBS.org/parents/theparentshow and let me know your thoughts!

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

 

I just want you to imagine a four year old little girl who would sit in front of the television and talk to Mister Rogers most every day.  She learned how crayons were made, what to do with the “mad that she feels”, that there are “many ways to say I love you” and most importantly, she learned that Mister Rogers liked her just the way she was.

That little girl was ME.

Because of Mister Rogers, I grew up believing how powerful television can be for preschool children. I studied child developmental psychology, like Fred did, and I wanted to create interactive, educational shows that would help kids learn, just as Mister Roger’s Neighborhood did for me.  As a result of being so influenced by him, I grew up to create Blue’s Clues for Nick Jr and Super Why for PBS Kids.

And now, my life has come full circle as I get to create Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  The four year old little girl in me gets to actually play in the Neighborhood of Make Believe!  Like all the preschool fans of Mister Rogers out there (Hello!  Let’s keep talking!), I had a story for all of the characters from the Neighborhood of Make Believe.  I just knew that Daniel Tiger grew up, got married and had a son named Daniel.  And Daniel wears a little red sweater and sneakers,  just like Mister Rogers did!  Daniel talks to kids at home and as a shy, sweet, four year old tiger, he is curious about the world.  He is also most caring, and is learning and sharing with the children at home.

Joanne Rogers, the widow of Mister Rogers, has been the one that’s caused me to hold my breath, waiting to see what she thinks of all of the work we’ve put into this passionate endeavor.  Waking up this morning, in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, I read Joanne say, “I was so excited because the old feeling is there. I think  Angela Santomero really captured it and I almost cried because I felt such relief.  I’d been anxious not knowing what to expect, but, oh, Daniel is just so cute. I can’t imagine everybody won’t love him, and I’m delighted…”

That four year old girl in me is singing, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood….” 🙂

 

 

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Conferences, My Projects

I will be speaking on Friday, July 8th from 11-12p at The Evolution of Women in Social Media in Park City, Utah on the subject of TV & Entertainment.  Other speakers will be Gayle Weiswasser (VP of Social Media Communications at Discovery Communications) & Jeannette Kaplun (co-host of Viva la Familia TV show & co-founder of Todobebé, Inc).  It will be held at The Canyon’s-Grand Summit – Arrowhead venue.  Come say hello at the conclusion of the talk!

More and more, traditional media outlets such as TV are looking to take the story online. Find out how networks are working with bloggers, making storytelling more interactive, and leveraging technology to take the conversations from screen to web.

[ Evo’ 2011 ]

 

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, My Projects

Physicist and ska/soul musician, Jeremy Roberts, cleared up the subject of Augmented Reality for me..well, at least I can follow a conversation about it.   Interacting with complex concepts in an engaging way holds such potential for not only the educational field but the sciences, the arts..the list goes on.

The ability to not only visually project data or concrete information on real world objects (in our 3-D world) but to interact within it, has enormous potential.  But we’ve just scratched the surface.

Get ready for augmented reality devices/software to enter your home, if they haven’t yet.  Time to rest my head…

Check it out on pbs.org, then email me to let me know how you would apply this technology.

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under My Projects, Parenting

Emme and I sat down last week after her performance in Nora Ephron’s off Broadway show Love, Loss and What I Wore.  I enjoyed our conversation on the sheer importance of getting together with friends, taking pride in who you are, hugging it out and essentially giving our children what is truly important.

Emme is such a strong advocate for women and girls and we both whole-heartedly share the belief that self esteem must serve as the foundation for all of us.  Pass it on…

[Check out this PBSparents episode]

 

 

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, My Projects, Parenting, Super Why!

Taking place for the third consecutive summer, Super Why Reading Camps are interactive learning adventures that show children the power of reading and guide them as they play with letters, sounds, and words. Featuring a comprehensive curriculum developed by noted literacy experts, this year the program has been expanded from one to three weeks.  Each day the 4 to 5 year-old campers participate in a range of fun literacy lessons, games, crafts, exercise and music that will help them practice key strategies for reading success.

The first week is all about “ Super Why and The Three Little Pigs” and some of the reading-powered activities include a “Lickety Letters Craft Activity,” where participants find the letters of their name and make a colorful sign; “Letter ID Bingo;” and the entertaining and educational “Freeze Dance Rhyming Game.”  On the last day of the week, campers invite their caregivers to come join in the literacy fun! Watch the short video above, which illustrates the power and appeal of the Super Why Reading Camps in action.

We created the Super Why Reading Camps to bring the mission of the show one step further by working directly with preschoolers at a grassroots level to help them learn to read—and develop a lifelong love of books. As educators at heart, we were excited to find a way to bring our proven Super Why curriculum from the show and into classrooms. The amazing improvement in literacy skills we see from kids starting the program to when they leave is inspiring and uplifting for us. Kids get motivated, want to read, and truly learn!

Read the entire WGBH post

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, My Projects, Parenting

Only 1 1/2 weeks remaining!  Tapping into the 30 million monthly unique visitors on iVillage, the iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge will run from June 6 to July 15 and will features free literacy-building resources for parents and children designed by experts at PBS Parents and PBS Kids. Angela Santomero, creator and executive producer and head writer of PBS series Super Why!, will provide daily reading activity assignments, answer parent questions and offer advice throughout the online event. Guest coaches such as cast members, characters, authors and series creators from PBS Kids will also provide activities and ideas each week.

[Jump into the Challenge!]

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under My Projects

I never realized what a cult-like following the brothers Kratts, Martin and Chris Kratt had (creators of Wild Kratts), until I put the word out there that I’d be interviewing them for an upcoming Parent Show episode.   After our love fest for the garden state subsided, we discussed the importance of exploration.   So often adults feel that they need to take a trip or visit a nearby planetarium to go exploring, but Martin and Chris started their adventures once their screen door squeaked closed behind them.

What also makes these learning adventures so empowering is that we, as parents, don’t have all the info.  So for our child to be either learning with us or teaching us a thing or two about a new discovery, it touches on so many levels of positive development.  There’s a big world out there to learn from…even if it exists under a rock.  Don’t wait, go out and explore now!

[Check out this episode]

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under My Projects, Parenting

I’m in awe of characters that are timeless.  Superman has transcended generations due in large part to its juxtaposition of human and superhuman.  A regular guy with super hero skills.  I’m fascinated with the creation of characters.  I wanted to know who were the brilliant creators behind Superman?  It is one of the most iconic designs and characters of our time, yet, we don’t know the backstory.

I reached out to award winning author, Marc Tyler Nobleman who wrote the interesting and eye opening book, Boys of Steel, about the creators of Superman.  I love the book and recommend it as a great summer read to middle school kids and above.

As a dad and an author, Marc also had some great tips for us parents, about how to leap over the summer slump in a single bound, and to have books be more powerful than a locomotive.  It’s a bird. It’s a plane.  It’s Marc Tyler Nobleman!

Check it out & let me know what you think!