PBS' plans for kids

January 09, 1996|By David Zurawik

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting yesterday announced it will provide $4.2 million to help fund two new series for preschoolers and their parents.

While the money is news in its own right, since it will be matched by another $4.2 million from the U.S. Department of Education, what's unique about the project is the effort by public television to help parents become more involved in their childrens' television viewing.

In addition to the new series -- "Dragon Tales" (for children 2 to 5 years of age) and "Between the Lions" (for children 4 to 7) -- the money will be spent to produce companion series for the parents. The parents' series will air on weekends, providing advice on both parenting and how to help kids learn from the shows. All productions are scheduled to debut in the fall of 1997, said Alice Cahn, director of Children's Programming for PBS.

"The project grew out of research with parents who said they wanted parenting information and information on how to get involved with their kids' education," Cahn said. "It's a big investment, both financially and in terms of being a really good footprint in terms of public television continuing to be a leader in programming for young children."

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