Super Why!

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

Following up on my earlier post, Clues to a Great family vacation, here are some highlights of the rest of our week:

Day 4: Read!

We got a chance to meet many of the children of the Half Moon staff at the beautiful Children’s Annecy Village.

I talked with the parents about my vision for creating educational preschool television shows and then read one of our Super Why books to the children. They even read & acted out the story with me. I was able to sign and give away books to each child. They were smart, funny, sweet and beautiful. It was a highlight of the trip.

Day 5:  Family Time

The best part of vacation for me, is when I can unplug (within reason, of course) and spend the majority of the day with my favorite people. Sure, hustling around the streets of Paris is fun, but to slow down the often frenetic pace of my day to come to a place like Half Moon with my husband & girls and just chilllllllll…it’s what the doctor ordered.

Day 6

We’ve been searching for a resort that has the right mix of luxurious elegance, fun for the kids, friendly staff, good food & beautiful accommodations.  We found it and would love to stay!


Fave quotes from the trip: 

“Best Massage of my life”  – Grandma 

“It usually takes me 3 days to took 3 minutes at Half Moon.” – Angela

‘This is the life” – Youngest daughter

“OMG” –   Oldest daughter in the sea

“OMG” –  “Oldest daughter” on the horse

“OMG” –  “Oldest daughter” at dinner

“I could easily move here” – Greg


Oh, and if you missed our vacation music video, sung to Colbie Caillat‘s “Brighter Than The Sun”, check it out HERE.

[Disclosure: This trip was funded by ourselves. All ideas are our own & we have not been paid for such content]

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

This week, Super Why Live’s video/projections designer, Shawn Duan, discusses how he creates the Super Why animated environments and LED walls for this year’s live tour.

Shawn, an NYU grad, has put his mark on productions around the world, including accredited work at the New York City Opera. He ramps up his creativity to translate the TV/video show into a magical live performance!

Check out the interview with Shawn Duan to see what he’s most proud about in the Super Why Live show

Find out when the show’s in your area HERE. With more Live show dates to come!

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

This week, Super WHY Live’s Tony Award winning Costume Designer, Katie Irish, talks about how she brings the Super Why characters from the screen onto the live touring stage.

While Katie’s created costumes for opera’s LA TRAVIATA or a number of inspiring music videos, translating the signature Super Why! costumes for the live show is no easy task. In this video, Kate gives you some tips on how she does it in style, with the help of some NYC finds.

Find out when the show’s in your area HERE. With more Live show dates to come!

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

Fight the summer slide and keep your child reading and learning all summer long with iVillage’s free 6 week program.

Starting today, you’ll get daily emails with literacy-building tips and activities from me (PBS) and Jessica Wollman from Scholastic.

Here’s to a fun (& smart) summer!

[Get more info on this iVillage program]

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Super Why!

Angela's Clues

Going in (again)!  Wish me luck!

by: Greg | Filed under My Projects, Super Why!

This week Super WHY Live’s choreographer Jaimie Hollmer talks about her process that allows her to put all the moves into Super Why’s first live show! It’s all about a comfortable and familiar connection to the super reader characters that the kids love!


For more info click HERE. More Live show dates coming up!

Angela's Clues

Sure I enjoy whatever glitz I might receive from working in the “entertainment” biz, but I really am a research geek at heart. There’s nothing like having your hard work tested, then not only approved but given a confirmation that it is statistically effective by the top researchers in the country, and the icing…children will benefit from the work!

Just a few days ago, Barbara E. Lovitts, Ph.D. (Dir. of Research & Evaluation of the Corp. for Public Broadcasting) shared the analysis of our Super Why Summer Reading Camps with us. The thorough study entitled Reading & Learning: Building Literacy With Public Media by James Marshall & Diane Lapp (San Diego State Univ) details public broadcasting’s support of emergent literacy for 30 years and how Super Why!, through the support of PBS & the CPB, meets the needs of children.

Angela's Clues

While they probably won’t make today’s cover story, here are a few of our favorite snippets from the study:

“Super WHY! & its media-rich content has demonstrated consistent and replicable results over time.”


Reading is power & Super WHY! is the only preschool program created to help children learn the fundamentals of reading through interactive storybook adventures.


Children showed significant gains no matter what their age or ethnicity…They achieved greater post test scores, relative to pretest scores, for each literacy focus area & the full assessment.


Children were able to transfer the episode-specific content to new & novel uses of the same skill set.

Feel free to read (& share!) James Marshall & Diane Lapp’s entire study HERE and if you are willing/able, please support your public broadcasting station & the Corp. for Public Broadcasting



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

Angela Santomero

Tony award winning scenic designer, David Gallo, literally set the stage for Super WHY! Live, translating much of the Super Readers’ world into a magical live production.  David worked with me on the successful theater production of Blue’s Clues and he delivered on Super Why! LIVE as well.  He’s joined with his experts/daughters to explain how he incorporated the Super Readers’ Why Flyers into the amazing production!


Click HERE for more Super Why LIVE! info

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Kids, Parenting, Super Why!

One of the reasons I enjoy blogging is learning from other parents. The more we engage, the more I realize that we’re really quite similar..even if they live on the other side of the globe. Such is the case with, Dominique Goh, a Singaporean elementary school teacher, freelance writer and mom of 3. I recently asked the blogger of Dominique’s Desk a few questions on parenting in Singapore & I confirmed that it is a small world after all.


What can we learn from your culture that would allow us to be better parents?

Our climate in Singapore is..more community centered then individual focus. Showing mutual respect to people of other races and religions is strongly emphasized here as we have aim to be a multicultural and multi religious country. It is also stated in our national pledge

To show tolerance to others and accept the fact that everyone is entitled to their own religion and views have kept the people in our island nature away from rioting and violence.  By being better persons we in turn are able to focus more on our own families as we do not need to worry about political instability, racial tensions and other related issues.

Do you still teach?

I’m currently on NPL (No Pay Leave) and home taking care of my 3 kids.  The only kids I teach are my own.  My hubby and I had agreed that I would stay home during our children’s formative years to give them the best care and guidance that they need. From ages 0-2 years old a child has extremely rapid development both physically and mentally and I want to be there to nurture them every step of the way.

I have seen many of my previous students “neglected” by their parents who were too busy pursuing their corporate career or just making enough for survival and are not able or too exhausted to properly parent their own kids. I don’t want to fall into such a category. As a parent it should be our top priority to give the best to our kids.

With 3 children, how do you keep your mind fresh & fulfilled throughout your day?

Having 3 hyperactive kids – 21 months, 5yrs old & 8 yrs old, a lot of my energies get expanded on them on a daily basis. I keep myself active through blogging, interacting online with friends and clients, reading books, cooking and baking. Setting aside time for myself to do things which I love amidst teaching and interacting with the kids and household chores keeps me going from dusk to dawn.

I do schedule activities to do with each child on a daily basis so that I am able to spend equal amount of time with each child of mine.


You mentioned (unsolicited by me) that your children are fans of Blue’s Clues & Super Why. How are these programs different than other shows your children might view?

Blue’s Clues & Super Why both have the detective element in the show. Other kids shows which I have seen like Barney, Arthur, Cat in the Hat etc. mostly deal with themes of family, love or just plain fun and entertainment. They do not really show a child how to process information (clues) to solve a bigger problem (issue).

What I like about Blue’s Clues and Super Why is they bring you through the thought process and show the pre-schooler step by step how to analyze what they have at hand to find the answer. It gets the kids more interactive while watching the show and they are able to hone skills which they would need to rely on while they grow up to understand and use (i.e. In the answering of comprehension questions in school)

Sincere thanks Dominique for sharing your thoughts with us!


If you have any cultural attitudes that you feel affect the way you parent, please share them with us below.

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

Super WHY Live! is the live stage show inspired by the hit PBS Kids TV series. The tour is coming to a stage near you in 2012, but we’ve created some videos to show you what’s going on behind the scenes as we build the show.

In this video, Super WHY Live songwriter Jack Antonoff (of fun. – presently with a #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Digital Songs charts with “We Are Young”) talks about writing music for grown ups and kids, and about how excited he is for the debut of Super WHY Live!”

~Super Why Live Tour

[Click HERE for more info ]