NEW YORK, N.Y.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–June 2, 2003–Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Entertainment, a division of Scholastic, Inc., announced today a new animated children’s series, The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel™, which will be at the core of a children’s multi-media initiative. The series is set for broadcast on PBS KIDS in the fall of 2004.
Scholastic Entertainment has developed the series and its overall initiative as a result of winning the largest single grant ever given from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to develop a children’s multi-media project. This grant, combined with the “All America’s Kids Multi-Media Programming Initiative” grant from PBS with crucial monies provided by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), brings the total funding for The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel initiative to $14 million.
The series, which is based on an original concept by Ms. Forte, will be designed to entertain and educate all children, to promote cultural diversity and encourage English language acquisition, particularly among Hispanics. Equally important, the initiative will address the growing need in the U.S. for positive media representations of Hispanic children, one of the fastest-growing population segments and currently underserved due to a lack of children’s television programming which reflects their life experiences. The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel will be available on PBS with a second audio track in Spanish (SAP).
Scholastic Entertainment offers a proven track record of creating acclaimed children’s television series, including Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus®, Clifford The Big Red Dog®, Dear America®, and Goosebumps®.
“Reaching, educating and entertaining children is part of Scholastic’s DNA,” said Ms. Forte. “In the same way The Magic School Bus and Clifford entertain and help children with science and reading, The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel will be a series all children will delight in, and at the same time, prepare at-risk children as they begin their formal school experience. And, because research shows that the disparities between Latino students and others begin as early as kindergarten and remain through age 17, we believe the goals and the timing of The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel are critical.”
Robert T. Coonrod, President and CEO of CPB, said, “Service to underserved audiences, service to children, and education are at the heart of public broadcasting’s mission. CPB is delighted to help bring this exciting project to public television.”
John F. Wilson, PBS co-chief program executive, added: “This program, with its strong outreach initiatives, and targeting of underserved audiences, is a perfect fit for the PBS KIDS lineup. PBS and our local stations are anticipating a very positive response to this fun, innovative and educational series.”
The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel, a daily strip, will comprise a full 65 half hours of animated programming. The completely original series will be an educational situation comedy for six- to eight-year-olds and will be designed to engage adults as well as children.
The series will chronicle the adventures of 10-year-old Latino twins, Maya and Miguel Santos, as they figure out how to leave their stamp on the vibrant world around them. Featuring their family, relatives and diverse neighborhood friends, The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel will reflect back to viewers the cultural mosaic that our country’s neighborhoods have become.
The comedy revolves around Maya’s well-intended meddling in her family and friend’s lives, ultimately leading her to create new quandaries to fix. While every episode will take humorous twists and turns, the underlying message is the importance of doing good for the family and community, and the philosophy that shared happiness is greater than personal gain.
Scholastic Entertainment recognizes the impact of television on children and therefore will put the television series, The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel, at the center of the initiative, while at the same time supporting and extending its message with compelling web content and educational and community outreach materials in order to reach children where they spend most of their time, at home and at school. The outreach for Maya and Miguel will translate the excitement of the television show into meaningful participatory activities that help build language skills, understanding and tolerance. To achieve this goal Scholastic Entertainment will use its educational and editorial expertise, along with its wide-reaching distribution capabilities and collaborate with PBS’s Ready To Learn Service.
For the initiative, Scholastic Entertainment assembled a national Advisory Board comprising leading educators, educational and media researchers, experts in the needs of children who have low English proficiency, experts in diversity, multiculturalism, family literacy, and leaders within the Hispanic community. The series has been developed with Guatemalan, Puerto Rican and Mexican-American writers, producers and artists who were able to lend their own perspectives and experiences.
Scholastic Entertainment (SE) is a leading producer of quality, family-oriented television programming, feature films, videos, web sites and is a major licensor and marketer of children’s properties worldwide. SE produces the award-winning, top-rated animated series Clifford The Big Red Dog (PBS KIDS™), Clifford’s Puppy Days™ (debuts this Fall on PBS KIDS™), the Emmy-award winning series I SPY (HBO Family), the Emmy-award winning series, Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus starring Lily Tomlin (TLC); the award-winning Dear America series; and the popular kids’ adventure series Goosebumps. SE’s critically acclaimed feature films include The Baby-sitters Club, The Indian in the Cupboard, The Mighty, and the recently announced co-production with New Line Cinema of the award-winning Philip Pullman trilogy, His Dark Materials. Scholastic Entertainment is the entertainment and media division of Scholastic Inc., the global children’s publishing and media company, which creates and distributes innovative and quality educational materials for use in school, and engaging and appropriate products for use at home.
CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967develops educational public radio, television and online services for the American people. The Corporation is the industry’s largest single source of funds for national public television and radio program development and production. CPB, a grant making organization, funds more than 1,000 public radio and television stations.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 350 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.