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Archive for September, 2009

“Around Town with Cyberchase” Kicks off September 21

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

“Around Town with Cyberchase” kicks off September 21 when Cyberchase Online launches new web videos starring Harry and new activities that encourage kids to explore math in their own neighborhoods.  The activities will correlate to five episodes in a weeklong “Around Town” broadcast event on PBS KIDS GO! from October 5 – October 9, premiering two brand new episodes, “The Deedle Beast” and “Spellbound” (check local listings).  On Cyberchase’s new Facebook page, fans will get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the stars of Cyberchase making it all happen.

Cyberchase is a production of THIRTEEN and Title Entertainment, Inc. in association with WNET.ORG – one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.

“We’re excited to give on-the-go kids and parents some great ideas on how to incorporate math into their outings around town, whether to the grocery store, the ballpark or the zoo,” says Sandra Sheppard, executive producer for Cyberchase.  “We developed ‘Around Town with Cyberchase’ to support critical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) initiatives in local communities and to give kids and adults the tools to create their own math adventures where they live.  We’re also thrilled that the many fans of our Cyberchase For Real star, Harry, have an opportunity to see him in brand new web videos,” she continues.

Two new sets of web-exclusive videos, “The Harry Show” and “Math on the Street,” launch on September 21 at Cyberchase Online and feature Harry, played by actor Matt Wilson, encountering wacky math moments all around New York City.  The videos take place in fun spots like the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo and feature real kids and adults.  All the videos are about 1 – 2 minutes long and will be available for streaming or download Cyberchase Online.

“I love meeting kids and finding out how they approach math,” says Wilson.  “I’m really excited because in these web videos, Harry talks with real kids who probably solve problems the same way as many kids at home.”  He continues, “I’m always crunching numbers – leaving a tip, comparison shopping or estimating the time it’ll take to get to the front of a line.  Through these adventures around town, Harry shows kids that we encounter math everywhere, and everyone can be good at it – often without realizing it!”

Emmy Award winner Wilson has been the live-action face of Cyberchase for the show’s seven seasons.  He is also well known on stage and screen where he has worked with Pulitzer Prize, Tony and Grammy Award winners.  Currently he is performing in the World Tour of “The Circus, Starring Britney Spears.”

From Monday, October 5 – Friday, October 9, “Around Town with Cyberchase” launches on air with five awesome adventures, including two premiere episodes on October 5 and 6.  Each episode will tie to a special “Around Town” printable activity at Cyberchase Online. In the first new episode on October 5, “The Deedle Beast,” the Cyberchase kids chart the bizarre behavior of a pet Deedle Beast and uncover a bigger mystery than they bargained for.  In the premiere of “Spellbound” on October 6, the CyberSquad must discover how to use a grid to communicate what a spell-breaking symbol looks like and save Pompadoria from Wicked’s everlasting rule.

The PBS KIDS GO! video player will also stream full episodes and clips from the “Around Town” episodes, plus the web videos.
Also beginning September 21, the new Cyberchase Facebook page will go behind the scenes with Matt Wilson on his “Around Town” adventures, featuring exclusive photos and behind-the-scenes footage from the taping of “The Harry Show” and “Math on the Street.”  Wilson will also bring fans into a promotional photo shoot and a voiceover recording session at THIRTEEN studios.  In addition, Facebook fans will be treated to a glimpse of Christopher Lloyd and Gilbert Gottfried recording their lines as the villainous Hacker and the lovable Digit for the new episode, “The Deedle Beast.” New footage will be posted daily leading up to the “Around Town” broadcast launch on October 5.

Cyberchase – the only math series for children on American TV – airs daily on PBS KIDS GO! across the country.  Check local listings at Cyberchase Online.  In the tri-state area, Cyberchase can be seen weekdays at 4:30 p.m. (beginning Sept. 7) and 8 a.m. on THIRTEEN, Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m. on V-me and Monday-Friday at 7 a.m. on WLIW21.

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Eat a Bowl of Cherries Available September 15

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

“Eat a Bowl of Cherries” is now being considered as a Grammy nominee. Incorporating pulsating rhythms and movements where parents and children sing, drum and dance together, Rhythm Child features songwriter/musician father, Norm Jones along with his two sons 9-year-old Bailey and 3 1/2 year old Andre. Wife Heather is the business manager/agent and Duane Neillson is a co-writer. Featuring 10 high-energy songs, Rhythm Child is currently offering a free download of “Shaker Song” from Eat A Bowl of Cherries at www.rhythmchild.net.

The new CD is a follow-up to the 2003 multi-award winning Drum Circle Sing-A-Long CD, which garnered numerous awards such as the John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner (Jammy Put On), two Children’s Music Web Awards for Best Song (This Little Light and Bird & The Dragon) and (This Little Light) in 2007 was on the Top 10 15 weeks on XM Kids Radio.

Recently, Rhythm Child was one of three American groups that were asked to contribute a song to internationally-renowned children’s music label, Putumayo Kids, Picnic Playground, and did a four concert summer tour to support the July 28 CD release.

The children’s CD from a real life Partridge family band, Rhythm Child, Eat a Bowl of Cherries is available September 15 for $14.95 at www.rhythmchild.net.

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New Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Website

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

A new neighborhood awaits preschoolers and fans of all ages at PBSKIDS.org/rogers with the redesigned “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” website, full of new activities, video clips and memorabilia. In addition, 26 favorite episodes will be part of the national PBS KIDS Saturday morning broadcast lineup beginning September 12 (check local listings) and will be available to stream online later this fall at PBSKIDS.org/rogers for fans to enjoy whenever they want. “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” also recently launched a new game on the PBS KIDS PLAY! subscription service (PBSKIDSPLAY.org) featuring Daniel Striped Tiger and will premiere a mobile application later this fall.

“Fred Rogers paved the way for children’s media more than 40 years ago, and we are proud to continue to work with Family Communications to ensure his legacy evolves alongside new developments in media and technology,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Director, PBS KIDS Interactive. “PBSKIDS.org continues to increase in traffic, with an average of 9 million unique visitors a month. It’s clear that kids love our games, and that parents and educators view our content online as a trusted and fun learning experience.”

“At Family Communications, we continue to hear from adults about what “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” has meant in their lives,” said Kevin Morrison, Chief Operating Officer, Family Communications, Inc. “The core values of the series — kindness, civility, reassurance and inspiration — have helped many strive towards being the best they can be. We are excited to continue to infuse Fred Rogers’ values in new platforms with new generations of children.”

The new Web site features an expanded video inventory from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” including virtual field trips with Mister Rogers to visit a penguin exhibit, a dinosaur museum exhibit, an art museum, a pediatrician’s office and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, along with the ever-popular factory visits. The site also encourages parent-child interaction with Parent Tips on every screen to help adults understand what their children are working on through their Web experience.

In the all-new Neighborhood of Make-Believe area, children can explore two new environments — inside Lady Elaine’s Museum-Go-Round and Daniel Striped Tiger’s clock.
In the Museum-Go-Round – never depicted before on TV or the Web – children can create artwork of their own, make a kaleidoscope, or just delight in the simple joy of discovery as they make things spin and go up and down.
Inside Daniel’s clock, Daniel Tiger is getting ready for bed, offering an open-ended activity which gives children an opportunity to reflect on their own feelings about bedtime and separation from the ones they love.  As they turn out Daniel’s lights or get him his blankie or teddy bear, they can listen to a Mister Rogers bedtime song or hear Mister Rogers tell a bedtime story.
And for fans of all ages, the all-new “Neighbors of All Ages” section invites kids and adults to share their memories of growing up with the Neighborhood and provides tools through photo sharing site Flickr to post photos and letters.

Working in creative collaboration with PBS KIDS and Family Communications, Inc., the award-winning, Boston-based educational media developer FableVision produced the new site. FableVision President Gary Goldberger notes, “FableVision feels honored to extend Fred Rogers’ mission to a new generation of parents and children. This new media-rich site supports and guides children as they navigate their way through life.”

Parents and teachers can also continue to access content and resources that support essential childhood themes in “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” through PBS Parents and PBS Teachers.  PBS Parents offers articles, activities, tools, recipes and printables that parents and caregivers can use to extend the learning at home.  PBS Teachers provides classroom resources from the series that educators can download and use to support education in community engagement, the arts, mental and emotional health and many more topics.

In addition to the Web re-launch, PBS KIDS and Family Communications selected the top 26 favorite “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” episodes to air on PBS KIDS Saturday mornings this fall.  These episodes will also be featured on PBSKIDS.org in the coming months. The 26 iconic episodes feature classic moments including:

Appearances by Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Dance Theater of Harlem and performers of STOMP;

Visits with author-illustrator Eric Carle (best known for “The Hungry Caterpillar”) and beloved folksinger Ella Jenkins;
Favorite visits to factories showing how people make everyday things like crayons,  construction paper, erasers, flashlights, macaroni, and zippers;
Field trips to a recycling center and the zoo, as well as a ride on a school bus and a visit to the pediatrician’s office;
Two operas, “Windstorm in Bubbleland” and “Spoon Mountain”;
Songs, Make-Believe stories, and conversations about kindness, anger, frustration, making mistakes and even the most difficult feelings surrounding divorce.

“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” can also be experienced at PBS KIDS PLAY!, an award-winning subscription service that includes curriculum-based games featuring characters from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. A new Mister Rogers game, Daniel’s Musical Band, launched on PBS KIDS PLAY! in August. The first “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” mobile application, My Journal, will also debut this fall. The application will encourage children to identify and talk about their feelings about their every day experiences like school, playtime and friends. Both the new game and the application feature an animated version of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe character Daniel Striped Tiger.

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