PBS announces new children’s programming

PBS announces new children’s programming
(© 2018 WGBH Educational Foundation) ‘Molly of Denali’ was introduced May 9 as new television series for the PBS KIDS lineup for summer 2019. The lead character’s name is Molly and she is an Alaska Native.

“We believe this series will provide more kids with the opportunity to see themselves represented in our programming and are excited to engage all kids with the culture and traditions of Alaska Native peoples.” – PBS Kids Vice President of Children’s Programming Linda Simensky

Alaska Native is lead character

Darren DeLaune/Reporter

ARLINGTON, Virginia — At the Annual Public Broadcasting Service Kids meeting May 9 in Arlington, an announcement was made about a new children’s animated series that will debut nationwide in summer 2019 called ‘Molly of Denali.’

In a PBS Kids Press Release, ‘Molly of Denali’ is an action, adventure comedy that will follow the adventures of a feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl. The new series produced by WGBH Boston is the first nationally distributed children’s series in the U.S. to feature a lead character of Alaska Native descent.

Mabray will help her mom and dad run the Denali Trading Post in the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska. Each episode follows her, her dog Suki and friends Tooey and Trini on their daily adventures in Alaska from fishing, building snow forts and delivering a camera to friends on a volcano via a dog sled.

PBS Kids Vice President of Children’s Programming Linda Simensky said the organization is rooted in education and are always looking for new ways to highlight different communities that make up America.

‘With MOLLY OF DENALI, we’re building on that commitment,’ Simensky said. ‘We believe this series will provide more kids with the opportunity to see themselves represented in our programming and are excited to engage all kids with the culture and traditions of Alaska Native peoples.’

The press release also states Princess Daazhraii Johnson, an Alaskan Native producer and Fairbanks resident, who is a creative producer of the series said ‘Molly of Denali’ will showcase values of all Alaska Native cultures.

‘These values will be woven into each storyline and provide important learning moments,’ Johnson said. ‘I’m especially excited that Alaska Native children will get to see themselves in Molly, who’s such an inspiring role model for all kids. The project’s Alaska Native advisors worked hard to ensure that our children will get to see our beautiful cultures in a respectful light.’

‘Molly of Denali’ is being developed as part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS Ready To Learn Initiative with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The Ready To Learn Initiative is a federal program that supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families.

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