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PBS CONVENES 'THINK TANK' TO HELP SHAPE THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN'S PUBLIC SERVICE MEDIA


- PBS KIDS Next Generation Media Advisory Board Includes More Than 40 Leaders
in Education, Child Development, Child Care, Entertainment and Media, Technology,
Research and Community Engagement -


ARLINGTON, VA, April 25, 2006 - The PBS KIDS Next Generation Media Advisory Board was announced today by Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, PBS KIDS Next Generation Media. Created to help define the role public service media will play in the changing digital children's media landscape, the Board will provide strategic counsel regarding content creation, distribution, business development, education and community impact. Composed of experts from top organizations in the country that share a commitment to children's success and development, the full list of board members is attached. The first Board meeting will be held at PBS headquarters on April 26.

"PBS' goal is to build on our 35-year legacy of excellence in children's educational content and create the digitally dynamic children's public service media of the 21st century. This esteemed group shares our commitment and passion for helping all children achieve their potential," said Rotenberg. "Their participation and feedback will be invaluable in allowing PBS, along with our member stations, to meet the needs of the next generation of children, parents, caregivers and teachers, ensuring that all children have an equal start for success in school and in life."

Based on advance surveying of the Board, the agenda will include an analysis of media and technology's impact on children's education and socialization; an understanding of the current pressures on parents and caregivers; how to fill the gaps in early education curriculum, foster a love of learning and build community values; and ways to increase family interaction and play ("down") time. The Board will also be asked for input on new initiatives in development as well as the viability of current national and local services - from PBS KIDS to PBS Parents and PBS TeacherSource.

"Education needs a new paradigm focusing on authentic learning, use of technology and developing children's multiple intelligences through the power of visual learning and multimedia," said Milton Chen, Executive Director, George Lucas Educational Foundation.

"The digital divide must not be allowed to grow. All children deserve access to the same caliber of information," added Diane Foote, Executive Director, Association for Library Services to Children. "Public television and public libraries share a similar, critically important mandate: to provide access to high-quality information, entertainment, and technology to all children."

"The media needs to use its influence to help kids develop good values and useful skills," says Sally Lee, Editor-in-Chief, Parents magazine. "Media can be a good ally for parents, and it can help kids see themselves as part of a diverse global community."

PBS KIDS Next Generation Media initiative, the previously announced broad-based five-year initiative, provides a framework for addressing the changing digital children's media landscape and the public service role for PBS and its member stations. PBS is increasing its investment in children's educational programming for multiple media platforms as well as plans to launch an innovative preschool destination on-air and online that incorporates proven teaching techniques to help parents and children benefit from the time they spend with PBS. PBS also just announced a new 24/7 early elementary school digital broadcast service, PBS KIDS GO! Channel, scheduled to launch in October 2006 and delivered to the community through local PBS stations, which will meet the educational and developmental needs of this underserved audience.

About PBS

PBS KIDS is committed to providing the highest-quality non-commercial content and learning environment for children across the country. Providing age-appropriate, diverse programming for kids, PBS KIDS programs consistently earn more prestigious awards than any other broadcast or cable network. Only PBS KIDS has earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. With additional PBS resources to complement its programming, including PBS KIDS online pbskids.org, PBS KIDS GO! pbskidsgo.org, PBS Parents pbsparents.org, PBS TeacherSource pbsteachersource.org, PBS Ready To Learn services and literacy events across the country, PBS KIDS is providing the tools necessary for positive child development.

PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 348 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of other educational services. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org,one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.

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Contacts:
Jill Corderman, 703-739-5788, jcorderman@pbs.org

Alan Winnikoff, 212-679-2982, alan@sayleswinnikoff.com

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