By Nancy Johnson Horn, Editor
Disclosure: I am a PBS Kids VIP Ambassador and I attended their annual meeting down in Miami this past few days. I was not compensated for this, but my travel and hotel stay was covered.
I’m just coming back from my second PBS Annual Meeting, where I had the good fortune to get some scoop on what’s coming from PBSKids. I’ve watched PBS since I was a very little kid, it was the only thing we were allowed to watch when we are little and I am a HUGE Sesame Street fan.
(Read more after the jump).
Sesame Street is debuting a new character called Armando (nicknamed “Mando”). Played by Ismael Cruz Cordova, Mando hails from Puerto Rico (and is utterly charming). They found him in an open casting call (and he does have several acting credits under his belt, “The Good Wife” being one.
We got to speak to him and Rosita and were utterly charmed.
This year, in Sesame Street’s 44th year, it’s major theme will be Executive Function. Not sure what it means? According to mykidsupport.com, “Executive Function (EF) refers to the set of skills we use to plan, organize, initiate, and complete activities. These skills help us to sustain our attention and persist in the face of frustration. People with strong EF skills can manage their emotions, self-monitor to work efficiently, and find effective ways to problem solve. Success in school depends on reasonably intact EF skills, particularly as a student advances into higher grades.”
Also look for a multicultural focus and some funny Sesame Street parodies from shows like “Homeland” and “Sons of Anarchy”. And Pssst.. Cookie Monster spoofs James Bond!
This fall, Peg+Cat joins the PBSKids lineup. Pronounced Peg PLUS Cat, this adorable animated show, features a female lead (Peg) and her fun sidekick Cat who have fabulous adventures and learn math concepts and skills. Created by Jennifer Oxley (who you may remember from her work on The Wonder Pets and Little Bill) and Billy Aronson (Rent, Postcards from Buster) have teamed up with The Fred Rogers Company. The show takes a transmedia approach and besides episodes airing on PBSKids, there will be interactive games, episode streaming online and mobile apps. In each episode Peg and Cat will encounter a problem that requires them to use math and problem solving skills. We saw part of the first episode and really enjoyed it.
100 chickens were involved and the chickens got to our breakfast before we did.
Look for Peg+Cat next fall.
We also had a fun moment with Mr. Steve of SteveSongs.
He composed an original tune that mentioned all of our blog names. Thank you to Thien-Kim Lam of imnotthenanny.com for providing her youtube video of it (my new iphone5 case muted all my sound).
Thank you to PBS Kids for providing travel to and from the annual meeting and covering my hotel stay and some of my meals. No other compensation was received. As always, all opinions are my own.