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Young Surfers Can Go 'Behind the Scenes' and Interact with Their Favorite Characters at the Relaunched PBS KIDS Web Site -- pbskids.org

Trivia, Jokes, Songs and Surprises
Mark Educational Web Destination Debuting Today

ALEXANDRIA, VA - February 1, 2000 - Offering its visitors a toybox full of new features and content, the PBS KIDS Web site (pbskids.org) relaunches today with a comprehensive backstage look at PBS KIDS show characters and engaging educational activities. PBS KIDS is the most popular area of the 85,000-page PBS.org Web site.

The redesigned PBS KIDS site will enable kids to write stories, respond to other kids, tell jokes and discover answers to puzzling questions. Site visitors can also access the official Web sites and related activities for their favorite PBS KIDS television programs, including ARTHUR, DRAGON TALES, MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD, NODDY, TELETUBBIES, ZOBOOMAFOO and ZOOM.

With the relaunch, PBS KIDS will feature new areas providing information about kid-related content available through local PBS stations: "In Your Town" and "What's New?" When users click on these areas they can see local station information and links to local station Web sites. In the coming months, these links will expand to include information about local PBS KIDS show character appearances, children's fairs, and birthday clubs.

The "What's New?" area will feature a newspaper-style page with articles about new activities on pbskids.org, as well as stories written by children from across the country.

Other features of the new site include:

  • "You Be the Judge": encourages kids to boost their media smarts with an activity that shows how to watch and listen with a critical eye and ear. This new feature, combined with the existing "Get Your Web License" activity, round out PBS's TechKnow media literacy area;
  • "Backstage at PBS": offers an offbeat and memory-jiggling timeline of PBS KIDS show milestones since 1968. This area also teaches kids about the behind-the-scenes action of television production with the interactive game, "Lights, Camera, Action!";
  • "Learn All About It": aggregates subject-related sites for school-aged kids, and provides a weekly trivia teaser to promote fact-digging;
  • Ready to Learn: The content within PBS KIDS and its affiliated sites is based on extensive focus group research with kids ages 4-12 to enhance the goals of PBS's Ready to Learn (RTL) Service. RTL combines PBS's award-winning educational children's programs with local seminars, mailings of resource materials and other efforts to help children prepare for success in school;
  • Easier access: The new site also features easier access using more visual clues and a "sonified" experience for those with the free Beatnik plug-in, allowing pre-readers to help direct their own navigation of the site; and
  • "Notes for Caregivers": aids parents, caregivers and teachers in using pbskids.org through usability tips and curriculum groupings.

"The relaunched PBS KIDS site empowers kids to make smart choices by helping them to think critically about media," said Michelle Miller, editor of PBS KIDS Online. "At the same time, innovative content from PBS' national producers and local stations enables visitors from 2-14 to have fun creating their own PBS KIDS experience.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 346 public television stations. A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of noncommercial television, the Internet and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services that inform, inspire and delight. Available to 99 percent of American homes with televisions and to an increasing number of digital multimedia households, PBS serves nearly 100 million people each week. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org.

PBS.org, PBS' award-winning site on the World Wide Web, produces high-quality Web programming as it pioneers the convergence of television and the Internet. PBS Online features more than 85,000 pages of content, as well as companion Web sites for more than 400 PBS programs and specials. PBS ONLINE has won the prestigious Webby Award for best TV Web site in 1998 and 1999. In January 2000, Yahoo! put PBS.org at the top of its list of the best Web sites of all time.

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