Up to date information about children’s entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Archive for July, 2011

PBS Foundation Receives $250,000 Grant for PBS KIDS GO!

Friday, July 29th, 2011

PBS Foundation has received a $250,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to support PBS KIDS GO!’s robust digital playground of videos, games, mobile experiences, and other interactive content for children.  The grant will fund the continuation of innovative digital technology experiments and research in educational gaming for school-aged kids. 

 “PBS KIDS GO! was created for school-aged kids, who we know have limited choices for media content that is age-appropriate, fun and educational,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, Children’s Media, PBS.  “Through this initiative, we have developed engaging interactive content for kids that puts them in the driver’s seat, allowing them to explore and learn in a safe interactive environment. This grant will allow us to continue this important work.”

The grant will fund website expansions, game development, research, and PBS station and producer support for PBS KIDS GO!.  Upcoming projects include new short-form episodes of existing web-originals such as FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB, new site features to enable users to customize their experience on the site, and more content on new media platforms, such as mobile devices and interactive white boards.  Much of this content will be evaluated through educational impact testing and will help PBS produce content that serves a broader age-range of children as they build their reading, math and science skills.

PBS KIDS GO! is constantly experimenting with new technologies to help drive educational impact for kids,” said Jason Seiken, Senior Vice President, Interactive, Product Development and Innovation, PBS.  “We’ve had great success so far, and we’ve seen particularly significant growth over the past year. Unique visitors on PBSKIDSGO.org are currently up 30% year-on-year, and average time spent on the site is up 23%. And PBSKIDS.org has been the #1 kids entertainment site for free videos streamed for the past nine months. As PBS KIDS GO! continues to gain momentum, we will continue to look for ways to experiment and innovate across platforms to help increase learning.”

PBSKIDSGO.org includes the PBS KIDS GO! video player, which features over 3,000 video clips from PBS KIDS GO! series such as WILD KRATTS, ARTHUR and WORDGIRL, and averages 4.8 million streams per month (Google Analytics). The site also features four web-only series as well as in-video games and companion gaming sites for television programs.  Additional site features include the Webonauts Internet Academy, an internet safety site for kids, and the “Secret Box,” a customizable space for kids to store their own creations.

Support from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations will build upon the significant investment in PBS KIDS GO! from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).  PBSKIDSGO.org was initially funded by and continues to receive support through contributions from CPB.

Wondering Whether to Take Your Child to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon?

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Transformers..jpgYes! Says one of our youth film critics, 13-year-old Raven Devanney. But, ages 13 and older only. Here are Raven’s comments:

“Transformers 3, Dark of the Moon is a non-stop thrill ride. This action packed film is a fantastic addition in the Transformers series. The cinematography and special effects are absolutely breathtaking in 3D! This film has so much action and the sound effects are so intense that it keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire film!

My favorite character is Bumblebee because he is so sweet and he is there to catch Sam when he falls…. Literally! And of course, once again, I love Shia LeBeouf’s performance! I have been a fan of his acting for years, even before Transformers. My favorite scene is in the beginning when it shows actual footage of the moon launch because it is fascinating to see how many people were so eager to witness that back then.

I love this movie so much because it has everything: Action, comedy, suspense and romance.RavenAM.jpg The one thing I think is unnecessary in this movie is that every time the Decepticons are killed, they bleed. It’s weird because that didn’t happen in the first two films and they are machines—they can’t bleed! Also, the blood looks very unrealistic so it seems pointless.

This film is for ages 13 and up because there is a lot of adult humor that is very inappropriate for younger audiences. This film has a lot more violence than the first films. There are also somewhat gruesome deaths throughout the movie.

Reviewed by Raven Devanney, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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