PBS KIDS--Ready to Play!

Posted by PBS Publicity on

Cause-marketing initiative boasts world-class brand, play-based child development strategy and wide array of licensing opportunities

Alexandria, VA, June 5, 2003 -- The momentum behind PBS KIDS® educational products continues to build as the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) today announced a new comprehensive strategy for the line that focuses on the power of open-ended play as a means of encouraging child development. Featuring the PBS KIDS brand -- the #1 brand in children's educational entertainment -- this cause-marketing initiative will create high-quality educational products and services and support public television. A number of product categories remains available for licensing partnership.

With the help of child development experts, PBS KIDS is launching a line of educational toys that will embrace free play, exploration, imagination. Each product will be packaged with information for parents and caregivers about how they can encourage children's individual interests through open-ended play. Children learn best by engaging in activities that allow them to explore and strengthen their natural abilities.

Proceeds earned by PBS through the sale of PBS KIDS products will go back to funding more high-quality programs and services for children.

"We take play seriously here," said Judy L. Harris, executive vice president, PBS Businesses and Development. "Our hectic lives can mean that there's less time for open-ended, imaginative play, but we believe that child-directed play promotes inspired thinking and problem-solving, reduces stress and creates learning opportunities found nowhere else."

"Open-ended play helps young children master the skills they need for success in school," said Charlotte Brantley, senior director of PBS Ready to Learn, a national education, outreach and programming service that encourages school readiness in America's children. "I am pleased that the PBS KIDS line of products will foster this important part of learning."

PBS is committed to the creation and production of a product line that supports the importance of play, using public television's extensive outreach channels to help parents, caregivers and teachers better understand the irreplaceable influence that free play has on a child's development.

The first products are scheduled to arrive in stores in fall 2004. Brighter Child Interactive is the first licensee assigned the PBS KIDS license for interactive products and companion workbooks. PBS is currently seeking licensing partners in such categories as books, toys, arts and crafts, science-based play sets, music, stationery, fashion accessories, apparel and infant stimulation products.

Similar to its on-air programming strategy, PBS will develop products geared to preschoolers (age 2-5), with products for newborns, infants and early grade schoolers to follow soon after.

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.



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Jan McNamara, PBS