Over 200 women attended this exclusive event featuring a panel of noteworthy and well respected women executives selected by Moffly Media. They shared their personal career experiences and wealth of knowledge on leadership, creating balance, career development, and today’s business climate.
Kari Henley’s recent post on “over-parenting” was overwhelmed by overstatements – especially her suggestion that kids who watch nurturing TV shows like those found on PBS are more likely to be bullies.
I’ve devoted my career to creating and producing educational children’s television, including PBS’s “Super Why” and Nickelodeon’s “Blue’s Clues.” I’ve spent many years working with the nation’s top child psychologists, whose research clearly shows that children learn how to act and interact with others through a combination of instruction and emulating what they see and hear, a phenomenon psychologists refer to as “modeling.”
In other words: Kids learn by example.
“Super Why” and “Blue’s Clues” are both based on this principle. Each series strives to help kids learn reading and other key skills. The shows are also pioneers in interactive television. For example, the superhero characters on “Super Why” address viewers directly, asking them questions and then pausing so kids watching at home can answer. The goal is to help kids learn while they play along with the characters on TV.
Samantha Freeman and Angela Santomero of Out of the Blue Enterprises weigh in on their new line of educational programming, toys and books for children.
You know how some people die to see their favorite singer or band? Well, when I heard that I may get the opportunity to meet the creator of the PBS children’s show Super Why, Angelo Santomero, I was super excited. Trust me, no exaggeration here. I am pretty involved in my children’s education, especially in a house of early readers, you would need to be. What I love about mommy blogging events is that at times you get to take your kids along.
Well other than the PBS guys providing childcare and lunch for the kids (and us) the kids were also entertained by the Curious George and Martha (from Martha Speaks) characters who popped in to surprise the kids. While we settled ourselves to a roundtable discussion and presentation I waited anxiously to see this woman who was behind the wonder of Super Why.
A little about Super Why is that it starts with a real problem (that a kid might typically have) and then the team of Why – or Whyatt (brother of Jack from Jack and The Beanstalk), Red (Red Riding Hood), Pig (The 3 Little Pigs) and Princess Presto (The daughter of Princess from Princess and the Pea). They meet in the library to decide to solve the problem, and then transform (capes and all) and head out on the Y-Flyers to get into a story to seek the answer through a familiar character in a story (with a similar predicament). Along the way they collect “super letters” and that creates the answer to the problem. I know that you are reading a blog post because time is of the essence so I will try and condense this posts (even though there is so much to say).
The Silicon Valley Moms Group was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend events across the country to get a behind the scenes look at PBS’s show called “Super Why”. First we had an event in New York City and then in DC Metro. Then the events moved to the West Coast in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.
At the Los Angeles and Silicon Valley (pictured left) events we had a behind-the-scenes look at SUPER WHY! with its Creator and Executive Producer, Angela C. Santomero, and Lesli Rotenberg, PBS’ Senior Vice President of Children’s Media.
Hit Emmy Nominated PBS KIDS® TV Series Super WHY Visits the NYSE on the Heels of National Toy Line Debut
Not too long ago, I picked up my 3-year-old at day care and received a free DVD of a show I’d never heard of, called Super WHY.
My son loved it. The animated characters on Super WHY all have special powers. They spell, sound out words, read simple sentences and jump inside books and look for answers to questions they have.
“We’re modeling books as a resource for life,” explains Super WHY Executive Producer Angela Santomero.
It turns out the free DVD was part of a major initiative by the Department of Education. In 2005, it gave PBS a multimillion-dollar grant to produce shows that would help teach pre-reading skills to children from low-income families. My son was going to a YMCA day care in downtown Washington, D.C., one of 20 cities targeted for outreach.
From the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media comes the Fred Rogers Oral History Project. Within it are 3 of Sara Lindey’s Ph.D. interviews with Angela discussing Imagination & Attention, The Development of Blue’s Clues and Repetition as the Key to Mastery & Learning.
“Super Why,” from “Blue’s Clues” originator Angela Santomero, is an animated adventure about a 9-year-old boy who lives behind the books in the library, and, with his Super Reader friends, dives into the books to solve problems and answer questions, adopting his secret identity of Super Why. His superpower? He can read – which, Santomero explained, preschool viewers will learn is “the key that opens everything up.”
Her chief inspiration for the show’s low-key, interactive approach, she said, was “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” host Fred Rogers.
“Mister Rogers was a huge inspiration to me,” she said. “He was the first to talk directly to the kids at home and empower them.”
“Super Why!” (a preschooler show that promotes reading) was created by Angela Santomero, who also created “Blues Clues” – which I didn’t know (which was embarrassing). Santomero is one of the new breed of children’s television creators who know how to promote the curriculum-based content of these shows to worried parents. As I’ve written many times before, this is a golden age of children’s programming (“Blue Clues” is a classic…but you knew that…and I knew that, even if I didn’t know that Santomero created it) and so much of what’s going on the air is infused with learning-based ideas. So don’t fear for you kids.
I’ll review “Super Why!” at a later date and probably do something with Santomero, who is wonderful at articulating the merits of early learning through television. (She actually developed “Super Why!” as her thesis project in college but launched “Blues Clues” first. Maybe I didn’t know this because she doesn’t look old enough to have a megahit series under her belt, much less two kids.)