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Children's Service

On air, online and in the community, WHYY's Children's Service connects Delaware Valley residents with unique, high-quality educational opportunities. A safe haven for children, and a reliable educational partner for parents, day care providers and teachers, the Children's Service combines award-winning children's programming with local on-air initiatives, online opportunities, and accredited educational outreach events.

On Air
Complementing the 60-plus hours of educational children's programming broadcast on WHYY TV12 each week — including favorites such as Sesame Street, Barney & Friends, and Clifford the Big Red Dog — WHYY's Children's Service produces local programs that instill a lifelong love of learning in Delaware Valley children.

As a radio accompaniment to the public television documentary A Lion in the House, WHYY produced Childhood Lost and Found. This nationally distributed radio documentary explores the challenges faced by children with cancer and their families. The show follows the families of three Children's Hospital of Philadelphia pediatric cancer patients and features commentary from experts in the field of pediatric oncology. WHYY also hosted a community discussion group in the WHYY Civic Space that dealt with issues of survivorship and health care disparities.

Produced locally by WHYY, Stir It Up! is a cooking program that teaches math, nutrition and kitchen safety by encouraging children to help in meal preparation. In addition to a 30-minute pilot episode, short "appetizer" versions of the show were broadcast on TV12 between children's programs.

WHYY's Children's Service links children and adults to the best educational Web material available. WHYY's PBS TeacherLine Web site and WHYY's PBS TeacherSource Web site feature various online professional development resources for teachers.

WHYY's PBS Kids Web site is a Web portal where young children can play games, read stories, and participate in educational activities related to their favorite TV12 kids' shows. WHYY's PBS Kids GO! Web site encourages "big" kids (ages 6 to 11) to be creative and inquisitive through interactive activities. The site is a safe place for them to explore links to their favorite TV12 programs and find resources to help them complete homework and school projects.

In the Community
WHYY's Children's Service touches the communities served by our broadcast signals with high-quality outreach projects.

Even before Gulf Coast evacuees arrived in Philadelphia, WHYY was asked by the City of Philadelphia to provide the Wanamaker Shelter in North Philadelphia with TVs, VCRs and videos of WHYY-TV programming — further solidifying WHYY's standing in the region as a trusted source of news and information and a "safe harbor" for families. WHYY provided special programs for children and parents, as well as links on to help parents and children talk about natural disasters and "scary feelings."

The only broadcast or print media allowed inside the Wanamaker Shelter, WHYY produced digital diaries, titled "Tales of Hope," that enabled Katrina victims to tell their stories. Survivors were interviewed about the experiences, how they escaped the flood, how they felt about being in Philadelphia and future plans. WHYY also brought PBS characters, face painting, snacks and books to a "Family Fun Day" for evacuees living in the shelter.

WHYY's Learning Lab shares the power of digital technology with local public and private high school students to produce broadcast-quality documentary films. Students are involved in every aspect of the filmmaking process — from brainstorming ideas and filming to final editing. Highlights include a documentary about the Philadelphia Phillies mascot the Phillie Phanatic, a look at the history and cultural significance of tattoos, and a look at bullying.

In FY'06, WHYY's Children's Service partnered with 48 community organizations to present a record 153 Outreach Workshops. These accredited workshops focused on topics such literacy, communication, problem solving and behavior. Of these workshops, 67 were presented bilingually or in Spanish. Over 1,100 caregivers attended the events and an estimated 13,387 children were impacted by the service.

Dr. Dan Gottlieb, host of WHYY-FM's Voices in the Family, moderated three In the Spirit of the Family discussion groups last year. The FY'06 panel discussions, which were recorded and then broadcast on 91FM, were titled "Depression in the Family," "Childcare Challenges," and "Childhood Obesity."

Members of WHYY's Kids Club had unique opportunities at museums, libraries, theaters and the WHYY studios to explore their world and meet some of their first "celebrities" — the characters they see on TV12. These experiences, as well as the quarterly issue of WHYY's Kids Club newsletter, BUZZ, instill an early appreciation of the region's rich cultural offerings.

Published monthly in Parents Express magazine, "Watch, Play & Grow" is an educational article written by Children's Service staff. "Watch, Play & Grow" offers parenting tips using WHYY children's programming as a springboard for discussion.

In support of the PBS series African-American Lives, WHYY was awarded a $10,000 grant to create teacher-training workshops focused on the production. The goals of this teacher-training program were to inspire teachers and students to explore African-American history and their own genealogy, and to raise awareness of the contributions of African Americans in communities across the country.

Once again, WHYY's First Books initiative was able to distribute 3,000 new books — free of charge — to children who may not have any or enough books to read.

Looking Ahead
The goal of WHYY's Children's Service is to inspire, educate and intrigue audiences through community engagement and outreach, and through online and video enrichment.

With this in mind, WHYY's Children's Service will continue to serve the region in FY'07 with expanded online initiatives, enhanced Outreach Workshops, new In the Spirit of Family events, creative new Learning Lab productions, and fresh on-air programs.