My Projects

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

Super Why premiered in September 2007 on PBS Kids in the PBS Kids Block (it’s the must see tv block of PBS for kids). Super Why was actually my Masters Thesis from Teachers College, Columbia University.  I wrote my thesis on my approach to creating a television show that would bridge the gap between reading and television.  The statistics alarmed me – I knew that reading was correlated to later academic success but when I realized that kids who watch television are reading less – I wanted to figure out a way to use the influential nature of television and get kids to feel like reading was power and to show the adventures inside books!

What is it about? Super Why is an interactive reading adventure series for kids, aged 3-6.  Each character has a reading super power that helps to save the day.

  • Alpha Pig (who, in his alter ego is the the littlest pig from the Three Little Pigs) has alphabet power!  He has his own version of the alphabet song and asks kids at home to point to letters of the alphabet to help save the day.
  • Wonder Red (who is Little Red Riding Hood) has word power!  Through rhyming and word families, Wonder Red raps/rhymes and builds words (she can turn a wall into a ball for example!)
  • Princess Presto (who is the daughter of the original Princess from Princess and the Pea) has Spelling Power!  She helps kids at home practice letter sounds to spell out words to make things appear.  (she spells “dress” for Cinderella to help her have a dress to go to the ball!)
  • Super Why (he is the only without a storybook identity – his older brother is Jack from Jack in the Beanstalk and is the heart-throb of Storybrook Village where they live) has Reading Power!  Super Why is the one who puts it all together and can read.  He uses his vocabulary skills to change the story and save the day.  The Big Bad Wolf is being so big and bad.  Why?  Because it says so in his story.  Super Why changes the sentence so it reads, “The small good wolf”.  The wolf, now “good” bursts into tears and is sorry for blowing down the pigs houses in the Three Little Pigs Story.

Stats:  We have produced 65 episodes and we are currently producing 15 more episodes, lots of books, an amazing SUPER WHY Website , SUPER WHY Reading App and the Super Why Paint App are consistently in the top of all kids educational apps (sooo proud!) and SUPER WHY Products.

SUPER WHY TEACHES KIDS TO READ!: Research from Dr. Deb Linebarger from University of Pennsylvania at Annenburg proved that kids who watched Super Why scored better on standardized literacy tests than kids who did not watch Super Why.  And, really, this is why I do what I do.

 

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

Blue’s Room is the spin-off of Blue’s Clues where Blue could talk!  Kids had been asking us forever if Blue could talk and how they could hug her.  We made Blue’s Room as a place that Blue discovers that is filled with new playroom friends!  When she is in Blue’s Room she turns into a three-dimensional huggable Blue puppet that talks!  Was this jumping the shark or answering kids’ dreams?  I prefer to think of it as the latter!   🙂

 

 

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under My Projects

Out of the Blue is led by proven players with decades of combined experience in creating unique children’s television and entertainment products.  The founding team includes Angela Santomero and Samantha Freeman Alpert.

With the powerful talents of its season and award winning team, Out of the Blue has an unsurpassed combination of educational mission and business expertise.

SEE COMPANY WEBSITE

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under My Projects

I have been writing a monthly column for Greenwich Magazine (Moffly Media) since January 2010.  In Angela’s Answers, I offer advice and observations on being a mom and an executive in children’s television while balancing and learning from both worlds.

The editor, Cristin Marandino, is such a wonderful person and it’s a nice opportunity to put out a good word or two in the community that’s such a part of my life.  From dealing with frightening current events to creating an open dialogue with your kids, we can all learn from each other to become better parents!

 

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

Blue’s Clues is my first baby. It premiered in September 1996 and is still going strong.  I spearheaded this project from start to finish.  I had no idea what I was getting into – I just knew that I wanted to teach a million kids at a time …and television was a way to do just that.  Blue’s Clues started out as a “game show for preschoolers”.  What that meant to me was that I could get kids playing the games and learning skills that they need for kindergarten.  We ask kids questions, through Steve, and then WAIT for them to answer us back.  Everyone thought we were crazy …. But it was the start of the entire “interactive preschool television” generation.

What is it About?:  Blue’s Clues is an interactive “game show” where live action host Steve (and later his pretend brother, Joe) live with a preschool animated puppy named Blue.  They play Blue’s Clues to figure out what Blue wants by finding three blue pawprints and sitting in the Thinking Chair when they find them to figure it out.  Along the way, Blue, Steve and the home viewers “help” their animated friends by playing thinking games based on skills preschoolers need to know to do well in Kindergarten.

Stats:  We created 165 episodes which air on Nick Jr in the States and on stations all around the world. Blue’s Big Musical Movie – full length feature – the movie is awesome and the songs are so good. Blue’s Clues books, 2 live shows which still travel and Blue’s Clues toys.

KIDS ARE LEARNING FROM BLUE’S CLUES!:  One of our biggest accomplishments with the show was the Blue Balloon in the Macys Day Parade (just kidding!) it was the research from Dr. Jennings Bryant from University of Alabama who proved that kids who watched Blue’s Clues scored better on standardized tests than kids who did not watch the show.  Kids were learning kindergarten readiness skills – colors, shapes, numbers, matching, sorting, letters, pre-reading skills, and critical thinking skills.  Kids did not just learn what was on the show, but the strategies we taught them were used to help them master concepts on their own.  Success!