Tuesday, July 5, 2011

PBS KIDS characters have important jobs!

By  Suzanne Kashuba

Oh, the excitement!  Those wide eyes and smiles, with arms wrapped around Elmo, Curious George or Clifford the Big Red Dog. Each year at the WNED Kid Fest, I’m reminded that -- among the youngest fans -- the top celebrities are animated.

Despite their carefree grins and happy-go-lucky personalities, those PBS KIDS characters have important jobs! They serve as role models for young children. They star in programs based on research about how kids learn, with an emphasis on curriculum-based entertainment.

Public broadcasting hires only the best -- compelling characters that make learning fun. Fortunately, they don’t take summers off.

While school’s out (or before it begins), take advantage of all the creative (and free!) resources public broadcasting offers.

    • On Television: Tune in to WNED-TV weekdays 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sundays 6:30 to 9 a.m. and Saturdays 7 to 9:30 a.m.
    • Online: For games, videos and activities based on PBS programs, visit PBS KIDS  (for the preschool set) and PBS KIDS GO! (for early elementary students).
    • Download free videos of PBS KIDS programs.



Live and In Person: Better yet, don’t miss personal appearances by two popular characters this summer right here in Western New York.

Clifford_jpgClifford the Big Red Dog comes to True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 E. Ferry St. (7/16, noon); Lackawanna Library (7/19, 11 a.m.); Niagara Porter Library (7/19, 1 p.m.); Merriweather Library (7/20, 1 p.m.) and East Delevan Library (7/29, 10 a.m.).

Super_YSuper WHY! visits Sheehan Health Network Market, 425 Michigan Ave. (7/ 29, noon) and the Central Library in downtown Buffalo (8/9, 11 a.m.).

What are your kids learning (or have they learned) from PBS KIDS characters? Share your stories below!

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