The newest PBS Kids star debuts Monday, July 15 – and she’s already breaking new ground.
Molly of Denalifollows the adventures of feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl who lives in an Alaskan village. The animated series premieres 7:30 a.m. Monday, July 15 on Wisconsin Public Television, as well as on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and PBS KIDS digital platforms.
Molly of Denali is the first nationally distributed kids’ show in the U.S. to feature a Native American lead. All Indigenous characters are voiced by Indigenous actors, including Molly, voiced by Alaska Native Sovereign Bill.
Read on to learn more about this fun, action-packed addition to the PBS Kids lineup!
Mouna Algahaithi, WPT’s new education engagement specialist, started at the station as an education and community engagement intern in May of 2018. She’s been full-time since last January, working on WPT Education programs such as implementing Ready to Learncurricula around the state as well as bigger events such as Get Up and Go.
Read on for some of her top public TV picks – and why the mission of WPT and the PBS Kids 24/7 Channel is so important to her!
This October, WPT Education was excited to introduce Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case, a free online video game set in and around the Wisconsin State Capitol, that assists educators in teaching social studies, while giving students the chance to be “history detectives.”
Nikki Lutzke, a teacher partner in the Parkview School District, said, “[Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case] brought learning to us concretely… and forever changed how this teacher views learning about and teaching history!”
We continue to read, debate and vote on the books of The Great American Read, and several Wisconsin writers have shared their own picks with us. Today, we enjoy several firsts: our first team (in life and work), AND our first children’s authors!
As for her inevitable “I can’t choose!” answer, Miranda writes, “Asking a reader to pick a favorite book is like asking a sweet-tooth to pick a favorite dessert; these are the things that shape us and bring us joy. All the time, children ask me which of my own books is my favorite, an interrogation I’ve labeled ‘The Forbidden Question.’ I ultimately let them know the truth: my favorite book is always the one I haven’t written yet, because I intend to write forever.”
Keep reading to learn about this insightful pair and the deep emotions that drive them to create.
This annual unofficial Star Wars holiday – May the 4th be with you! – gives us a great excuse to go back and look at one of our favorite moments from the legendary intergalactic franchise. That, of course, was the day that R2D2 and C-3PO visited Sesame Street!
Landing just before the release of The Empire Strikes Back, the second film in the still-growing series, the two iconic droids actually appeared on our favorite children’s program for two episodes in January 1980. And the highlights are still amazing.
First, the Sesame Street gang approach the friendly pair to see what brings them to town. Naturally R2D2 claims a secret mission has brought him to deliver a secret message, while C-3PO simply wants an oil change after traveling 50 parsecs.
Then, the two space friends join in the kind of impromptu musical fun – and learning – that can only happen on Sesame Street when they teach Big Bird how to count with their own personalized numbers ditty – “If it says one, I go ‘beep!’ If it says two, I go ‘beep beep!'” – and join in with Bob and friends on an almost avant-garde interpretation of the alphabet song!
And, of course, what would a visit to Sesame Street be without meeting a new friend? Before blasting off back to another galaxy, R2D2 even fell in love with an unexpected feature of almost every street!
Of course, this actual visit from real stars of the Star Wars cast isn’t the only time the films have found their way onto the beloved children’s series. In fact, just a few years ago, Star Wars was the focus of one of our favorite Sesame Street parodies, “Star S’mores.” Watch for Snuffleupagus as a Bantha, and stay for the meta in-joke of Grover as Yoda. And, May the 4th be with you!
Happy birthday, Daniel Tiger! Watch our favorite little tiger puppet make his April 5, 1954 TV debut on WQED’s “The Children’s Corner” in the video below.
According to The Fred Rogers’ Company, “Originally, a bird was supposed to come out of the clock that was drawn on the set wall. The night before, WQED Pittsburgh Station Manager Dorothy Daniel presented Fred Rogers with a tiger puppet as a gift at the program’s launch party. He decided to use the tiger puppet instead of the bird and named the puppet Daniel, after the person who gave him the gift.”
Since then, Daniel’s been helping educate, entertain and comfort generations of children on Wisconsin Public Television and PBS through Mister Rogers Neighborhood and now Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Ugga Mugga, Daniel. We love you!
Of course, Daniel Tiger and Mister Rogers are just part of the strong educational legacy of Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio. Join us all this year as we celebrate landmarks like this from our first 100 years. Explore our history and share your story of how public broadcasting has impacted your life online now at wpt.org/100.
Happy Birthday, Daniel Tiger!
On April 5th, 1954, Daniel Tiger appeared for the first time on the first episode of “The Children’s Corner.” Originally, a bird was supposed to come out of the clock that was drawn on the set wall. The night before, WQED Pittsburgh Station Manager Dorothy Daniel presented Fred Rogers with a tiger puppet as a gift at the program’s launch party. He decided to use the tiger puppet instead of the bird and named the puppet Daniel, after the person who gave him the gift.
This year’s Auction to benefit Wisconsin Public Television could feature you at the microphone!
WPT is holding auditions for volunteer auctioneers for our annual Auction, which will broadcast live on television May 31 through June 4. We’re looking for both adult and youth auctioneers!
Auditions will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the WPT studios on Tuesday, April 4 and Wednesday, April 5. To register for an auctioneer training and audition session, please complete the online form.
At Auction, the auctioneer’s job is to introduce items and encourage high bids by reading copy on-air and announcing winning bids. During the auditions, we will provide you with examples of auctioneers in action and give you the opportunity to practice reading scripts with help from our friendly, expert coaches. No advance preparation is required — just bring your enthusiasm for public broadcasting and your best speaking voice!
Wisconsin Public Television studios are located at 821 University Avenue in Vilas Hall, on the corner of Park Street, on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
If auctioneering isn’t your forte, we can still use your help to make this year’s Auction a success. Visit our volunteer page for more information. And thank you!
For those of us with loved ones in various area codes, holiday travel is an inevitable part of the holiday experience. If you have some time to relax on your journey – or are simply looking for something to keep the children entertained on the road – WPT’s online video library has you covered!
Here are five online holiday favorites that run the gamut from music to craft to Wisconsin-made programs. All of the shows below are available to stream on video.wpt.org and on the PBS channel of your Roku or other digital device.
Trust us: this list is just the tip of PBS’ holiday programming iceberg! You can explore the full collection online, anytime.
Caregivers, take note: the PBS KIDS app and pbskids.org/video/ let you stream full episodes of PBS KIDS programs, including holiday favorites from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat and more!
Read inside for some of our favorites – and let us know what gems you find!