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PBS KIDS® AND FAMILY COMMUNICATIONS, INC. LAUNCH NEW MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD WEB SITE ON PBSKIDS.ORG

New Site Honors Children’s Icon Through New Games and Features Including Photo Sharing Section and Online Video Clips

PBS KIDS Highlights Top 26 Favorite Episodes On-Air Saturday Mornings This Fall and Plans for Multi-Platform Distribution of MISTER ROGERS’ content

(Arlington, VA/Pittsburgh, PA, August 31, 2009) - A new neighborhood awaits preschoolers and fans of all ages at PBSKIDS.org/rogers with the redesigned MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD Web site, full of new activities, video clips and memorabilia. In addition, 26 favorite episodes will be part of the national PBS KIDS Saturday morning broadcast lineup beginning September 12 (check local listings) and will be available to stream online later this fall at PBSKIDS.org/rogers for fans to enjoy whenever they want. MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD also recently launched a new game on the PBS KIDS PLAY! subscription service (PBSKIDSPLAY.org) featuring Daniel Striped Tiger and will premiere a mobile application later this fall.

“Fred Rogers paved the way for children’s media more than 40 years ago, and we are proud to continue to work with Family Communications to ensure his legacy evolves alongside new developments in media and technology,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Director, PBS KIDS Interactive. “PBSKIDS.org continues to increase in traffic, with an average of 9 million unique visitors a month. It’s clear that kids love our games, and that parents and educators view our content online as a trusted and fun learning experience.”

“At Family Communications, we continue to hear from adults about what MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD has meant in their lives,” said Kevin Morrison, Chief Operating Officer, Family Communications, Inc. “The core values of the series -- kindness, civility, reassurance and inspiration -- have helped many strive towards being the best they can be. We are excited to continue to infuse Fred Rogers' values in new platforms with new generations of children.”

The new Web site features an expanded video inventory from MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD, including virtual field trips with Mister Rogers to visit a penguin exhibit, a dinosaur museum exhibit, an art museum, a pediatrician's office and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, along with the ever-popular factory visits. The site also encourages parent-child interaction with Parent Tips on every screen to help adults understand what their children are working on through their Web experience.

  • In the all-new Neighborhood of Make-Believe area, children can explore two new environments -- inside Lady Elaine’s Museum-Go-Round and Daniel Striped Tiger’s clock.
    • In the Museum-Go-Round – never depicted before on TV or the Web - children can create artwork of their own, make a kaleidoscope, or just delight in the simple joy of discovery as they make things spin and go up and down.
    • Inside Daniel’s clock, Daniel Tiger is getting ready for bed, offering an open-ended activity which gives children an opportunity to reflect on their own feelings about bedtime and separation from the ones they love. As they turn out Daniel’s lights or get him his blankie or teddy bear, they can listen to a Mister Rogers bedtime song or hear Mister Rogers tell a bedtime story.
  • And for fans of all ages, the all-new “Neighbors of All Ages” section invites kids and adults to share their memories of growing up with the Neighborhood and provides tools through photo sharing site Flickr to post photos and letters.
Working in creative collaboration with PBS KIDS and Family Communications, Inc., the award-winning, Boston-based educational media developer FableVision produced the new site. FableVision President Gary Goldberger notes, “FableVision feels honored to extend Fred Rogers’ mission to a new generation of parents and children. This new media-rich site supports and guides children as they navigate their way through life.”

Parents and teachers can also continue to access content and resources that support essential childhood themes in MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD through PBS Parents (PBSPARENTS.org) and PBS Teachers (PBSTEACHERS.org). PBS Parents offers articles, activities, tools, recipes and printables that parents and caregivers can use to extend the learning at home. PBS Teachers provides classroom resources from the series that educators can download and use to support education in community engagement, the arts, mental and emotional health and many more topics.

In addition to the Web re-launch, PBS KIDS and Family Communications selected the top 26 favorite MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD episodes to air on PBS KIDS Saturday mornings this fall. These episodes will also be featured on PBSKIDS.org in the coming months. The 26 iconic episodes feature classic moments including:
  • Appearances by Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Dance Theater of Harlem and performers of STOMP;
  • Visits with author-illustrator Eric Carle (best known for The Hungry Caterpillar) and beloved folksinger Ella Jenkins;
  • Favorite visits to factories showing how people make everyday things like crayons, construction paper, erasers, flashlights, macaroni, and zippers;
  • Field trips to a recycling center and the zoo, as well as a ride on a school bus and a visit to the pediatrician’s office;
  • Two operas, “Windstorm in Bubbleland” and “Spoon Mountain”;
  • Songs, Make-Believe stories, and conversations about kindness, anger, frustration, making mistakes and even the most difficult feelings surrounding divorce.
MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD can also be experienced at PBS KIDS PLAY! (PBSKIDSPLAY.org), an award-winning subscription service that includes curriculum-based games featuring characters from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. A new Mister Rogers game, Daniel's Musical Band, launched on PBS KIDS PLAY! in August. The first MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD mobile application, My Journal, will also debut this fall. The application will encourage children to identify and talk about their feelings about their every day experiences like school, playtime and friends. Both the new game and the application feature an animated version of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe character Daniel Striped Tiger.

About PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO!
PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. With positive role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being, PBS’s children’s media and family and educator resources - including PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! television series, PBSKIDS.org, PBSKIDSGO.org, PBS Parents (PBSPARENTS.org), PBS Teachers (PBSTEACHERS.org), PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country - leverage the full spectrum of media, technology and community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Empowering children for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. In September 2008, PBS KIDS GO! launched its video player (PBSKIDSGO.org/video), featuring hundreds of video clips and dozens of full-length episodes. Since launch, the site is averaging 1.3 million streams per week. PBSKIDS.org averages 9 million unique visitors a month. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 356 public television stations, serving more than 115 million people on-air and online each month. For more information on specific shows supporting literacy, science, math, and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom.

About Family Communications
Founded by Fred Rogers, Family Communications, Inc. is a non-profit company that creates a wide range of materials dedicated to young children, their families, and those who support them. From its roots as producer of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, it has expanded to design educational materials in many media that support healthy emotional, social and intellectual growth at all ages, and embody the philosophy and values of Fred Rogers.

About FableVision
Located at the Boston Children's Museum on Children's Wharf, FableVision was founded and is led by New York Times best-selling children's book author illustrator Peter H. Reynolds (The Dot, Ish, Tess's Tree, The North Star, Judy Moody) and is recognized as a leading provider of best-in-class Web, gaming, animated films, and educational software for creative learning organizations around the globe.

-PBS-


CONTACTS:
Jill Corderman, PBS KIDS, 703.739.5788 / jcorderman@pbs.org
Kevin Dando, PBS, 703.739.5073 / kdando@pbs.org
Alison Grand, Grand Communications, 212.584.1133 / alison@grandcommunications.com
David Newell, Family Communications, Inc., 412-687-2990, ext. 3107 / newell@fci.org


www.pbs.org/pressroom





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