Wisconsin Public Television has exciting news! On Monday, Jan. 16 a brand-new 24/7 channel: WPT PBS KIDS and live stream will debut, supporting WPT’s mission to provide Wisconsin children with high-quality educational content. Read more about these new children’s services and how to tune in below!
My brain’s wonderful at sopping up theme songs, commercial jingles and mediocre 1990s pop songs like a sponge. Is it a talent? A curse? The judges are out.
When it comes to theme songs, PBS has delivered some true gems over the years. Here are five of those songs that you might have forgotten about … or might still be able to recite word-for-catchy-word.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
– An important quote from Fred Rogers on a day like today when the news is filled with tragic video and images.
Find resources on helping kids cope with, process and understand tragic events in the news at this link from our friends at the Fred Rogers Company.
This morning you might have seen media coverage about an announcement from Sesame Workshop and HBO that they have entered into a contract that will add HBO as a new additional home to Sesame Street. We wanted to get in touch directly with our friends to share this news and what it means to all of us in Wisconsin.
It is essential to note that Sesame Street will continue to be available on PBS stations including Wisconsin Public Television (WPT). With its significant infusion of funding to Sesame Workshop, HBO will be afforded the first “broadcast window” with programs becoming available to PBS stations some nine months later. According to HBO and Sesame Workshop, this deal will allow the show’s producers to create twice as many new programs each year as they were previously able to.
WPT will continue to broadcast Sesame Street, which will remain a critical component of our broad-based and well-recognized educational service to families and young children. WPT will also continue to broadcast Sesame Street episodes between now and when the new episodes are available. Our audiences will continue to be well served by the research-based educational lessons that have always marked Sesame Street on-air and online along with a full lineup of critically acclaimed early childhood and K-12 education programs loved by children and parents. Continue reading News About Sesame Street
Wisconsin Public Television’s Get Up and Go! Day is this Friday – with free events across Wisconsin for kids, parents and caregivers to get up, be active, meet favorite PBS Kids characters and have fun!
And, PBS Kids’ Mr. Steve has a special video message below for all the kids coming to join in the fun! Find full details on all of the fun events in Madison, Appleton, La Crosse and Eau Claire online here. We hope to see you there! Continue reading Mr. Steve Gets Ready for WPT Get Up and Go Day! Are You?
It’s hard to decide which Sesame Street star is the cutest. Whether it’s a touching moment with Elmo or an important lesson from Grover, when it comes to adorable, heart-warming characters and scenes, Sesame Street’s got ’em. (Yes, Oscar, even you’re cute sometimes!)
To honor the spirit of all things cute, I’ve scoured the internet for the most adorable Sesame Street moment in history. My research has produced this gem starring two guests: the always lovable Kermit and an adorable little girl named Joey.
The clip begins with Kermit asking Joey if she can sing the “ABC Song.” “Yes I could,” Joey replies matter-of-factly. There’s only one catch: Joey’s version is a little different from the song we all know so well.
Take a look and let me know which version of the song you prefer! Have a favorite cute moment from Sesame Street you’d like to share? Reply below!
Meet Joshua Frank from Fall River.
I asked Josh if he could sum up why Wisconsin Public Television is important. He said: “Public television has been one of the main kick-starters of my whole curiosity.”
Josh and his mom Heather called me recently to chat about a trip they took to Washington D.C. a few weeks ago. Josh, who just finished seventh grade, won the 2015 Wisconsin National Geographic State Bee and became the Wisconsin representative at the National Geographic Bee in Washington. He was one of 54 competitors, and it was his first trip on an airplane. Both he and his mom said it was a great experience — except for the fact that they didn’t get enough time to see all of the Smithsonian.
Heather had told me in an earlier conversation that they didn’t have cable, and that PBS Kids was the only TV she allowed Josh and his brother to watch when they were growing up. Josh confirmed that today. He told me that, when he was younger, “I wanted to be a contestant on Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman so bad!”
Josh said: “At the GeoBee I met kids that are actually like me. Being from a small town – I feel… a bit unique.” His mom shared that in meeting the other kids and their families, they realized that most of these kids, like Josh, don’t cram or study specifically for this competition — they are just interested in learning, and in the world, and tend to pick up these facts. Josh spends loads of time on Wikipedia, watches Nature and NOVA and is also into weather, geology and physics.
We are looking forward to watching where Josh’s curiosity leads him next! What has WPT inspired you to learn more about?
A little creativity could earn you and your kids a seat at a state dinner in the White House.
The 4th annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” is seeking out original recipes that are healthy, creative, affordable, delicious and original. One recipe from each of the 50 states will be chosen, and the prize is an opportunity to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” hosted by Mrs. Obama at the White House.
So dig into the family cookbook for a favorite recipe or help your kids create a new recipe from scratch. Need some inspiration? Check out all the 2014 winning recipes, including Amazing African Sweet Potato Stew from Wisconsin chef Sarah.
Find more details and submit your recipe at pbs.org/lunchtimechallenge. Entries must be received by April 30…so get cooking!
I love that my daughter loves art and music, and I’ve dedicated a large part of our fairly small house to art supplies and her projects. I also know that how I respond to my daughter’s creations affects her deeply. Courtesy of PBS Parents, Patti Saraniero at ArtsEdge.org gives us seven suggestions about how parents can talk with their kids about their creative work.
1. Be thoughtful.
Your young artist has put effort into his work. Generic praise that we all use —“that’s great, honey”—gives us away that we aren’t really looking or listening. It can be discouraging. On the flip side, highlighting a weak spot in the artwork can also undermine a young artist. Often your artist is aware of where the artwork doesn’t work as well. If your young actor cannot be heard from the stage, encourage him to talk about what he is doing well and what he wants to continue to work on. When your actor identifies that he needs to better project his voice, offer to help. If he says no, accept that, but be willing to lend a hand when your child is ready for your help.
2. Don’t take over.
For parents who have a special ability or interest in the child’s art area, it can be tempting to “help.” Hold on. Let your child find her own way and wait for her to invite your participation. For example, let’s say the theater has been a very important part of your own
childhood and adulthood. It makes sense that you would want your children to enjoy it, too. So absolutely take your kids to the theater. Speak to them afterward about the experience, and let them know that you are willing to take them again.
3. Get beyond yes and no.
Use open-ended questions that encourage your child to discuss or explain his work. Listen closely to what he says. Try asking “Tell me about your sculpture” rather than “What is that?” Questions such as “What was your inspiration for this song?” encourage young artists to articulate their artistic thinking and process. The arts offer a valuable opportunity for children and teens to practice self-reflection.
4. Teach to learn.
Ask your young artist to teach you about the arts concepts and skills she learned to create the artwork. Teaching is a great way to reinforce learning and build mastery. What kid doesn’t love the opportunity to show an adult how something is done?
5. Encourage the process.
The artistic product is what you see at the end of your child’s hard work. The process of creating the work is as valuable as the product—and, for many kids, more so. When producing a piece of art, student artists must create, revise, polish, and persevere. All of these experiences are useful both in and outside of the arts. Music, dance, and theater rehearsals are great opportunities for your artist to practice not only the art form but also collaboration, compromise, and patience.
6. Effort counts.
Not every artistic product will be perfect (or even “good”). Interestingly, it may be the effort put into creating it that matters more in the end. In each of the arts, there are technical skills that need to be developed. Not every child may be artistically gifted, but with education and practice, every child can develop artistic skills. Encourage practice. Remember the old joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice…”? The reason the joke still works is because practice matters!
7. Let their light shine.
Find ways for your child to share his work if he chooses to. With visual artwork, encourage your child to photograph his work to create a digital “catalog” of his accomplishments. Videos and recordings of performing artworks also allow student artists to “collect” their body of work.Parents are an artist’s first and often unabashedly best audience. Whether your young artist has career aspirations in the arts or not, your support, interest, and commitment underscore the importance of her artistic work and viewpoint. Remember, the arts are valuable ways for kids to make sense of life and the world. You can further illuminate the way for them.
For more articles about kids and the arts, visit pbs.org/parents.
Calling all Odd Squad fans! Join us Monday, Jan. 19 at 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. as WPT premieres a one-hour special of Odd Squad, a live-action series from PBS KIDS designed to help kids 5-8 build math and collaboration skills. In “Odd Squad Saves the World,” kid agents tackle high-stakes cases and work together to overcome obstacles and save the day.
Parents, did you know your kids can sign up online to become Odd Squad agents? It’s true! And, they can earn rewards as they play math games inspired by the series. Check out the Odd Squad website, which offers fun and engaging games, activities and videos for kids, as well as parent and caregiver resources.
New to Odd Squad? See what it’s all about in this behind-the-scenes video with creators Tim and Adam.