PBS KIDS and Stations Bridge the Summer Learning Gap with Adventure-Filled Slate of New Programming and Activities Beginning in June

Posted by Laura Dimock on

Annual summer learning initiative continues with new “Summer of Adventure” specials, digital resources, partnerships and community activities

Beginning in June, PBS KIDS launches its annual summer learning initiative with new content and resources to help keep kids engaged all summer long. As part of PBS’ “Summer of Adventure,” PBS KIDS will debut three all-new one-hour specials from popular series NATURE CAT (with guest star Cobie Smulders as “Nature Dog”), WILD KRATTS (in tandem with PBS’ WILD ALASKA LIVE, hosted by Chris and Martin Kratt) and READY JET GO! New digital content will also be available on the free PBS KIDS Games appPBS KIDS Video apppbskids.org and pbsparents.org/summer

Local PBS stations across the country will bring educational resources and events to their communities through PBS KIDS partnerships with Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, Cricket Media and Reading is Fundamental (RIF). “PBS KIDS at the Alamo” screening events will be available throughout the summer, with one hundred percent of the discounted ticket prices ($1-$5) donated to local PBS stations to support educational programming. PBS stations will also provide families with educational materials from children’s magazine publisher Cricket Media, including Click magazine and postcards to write about their favorite summer activity. And PBS KIDS is partnering with Reading is Fundamental (RIF) to encourage kids to blend hands-on learning with reading and writing to foster important literacy skills during the summer.

“We know that the summer learning gap is significant*, and we want to help kids continue learning with ideas and stories that spark their innate curiosity and get them excited for outdoor exploration throughout the summer months,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Through the PBS KIDS Summer of Adventure, we look forward to partnering with our member stations to bring free learning resources to families in communities across the country, especially to children in underserved areas who need it most.”

On digital platforms, PBS KIDS will provide parents with learning tips and ideas, DIY activities, recommended games, and downloadable resources at pbsparents.org/summer, beginning in late May. New kids activities will also be available on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Games app. In July, kids will have the chance to create their own Alaska-related Creature Power Suits in the popular Aviva’s Power Suit Maker game. A new game from READY JET GO! will launch in August, in which kids will help Jet and his parents discover all the amazing things about Earth as they report back to Bortron 7.

A variety of free apps for parents and kids to support summer learning include PBS KIDS Games, Nature Cat’s Great Outdoors and Ready Jet Go! Space Explorer; more information is available at pbskids.org/apps. PBS KIDS programming and content is also available for free on the PBS KIDS Video app, which can be downloaded from the App Store, Google Play and Amazon.

New Programming

NATURE CAT, New One-Hour Special: OCEAN COMMOTION (guest stars Cobie Smulders as “Nature Dog")
Premiering June 19 on air and streaming platforms
Nature Cat and his pals go on an aquatic adventure to save Hal’s favorite chew toy. Along the way, they learn that all waterways are interconnected and meet up with a new special friend named Nature Dog who helps them navigate the oceans.

WILD KRATTS, New One-Hour Special: WILD KRATTS ALASKA: HERO'S JOURNEY
Premiering July 24 on air and streaming platforms
While creature adventuring in Alaska, one of Aviva’s breakthrough inventions falls overboard and attaches to a sockeye salmon--jumpstarting a wild chase upriver through the wilderness. The Wild Kratts track the incredible salmon run--a quest fraught with obstacles and amazing creature connections around every bend.

READY JET GO!, New One-Hour Special: BACK TO BORTRON 7
Premiering August 14 on air and streaming platforms
When Jet’s parents need to return to their home planet, Sean and Sydney join the Propulsion family on an epic adventure to Bortron 7.

Each of these special will premiere on PBS KIDS (check local listings), and will be available on the 24/7 channel and live stream on Mondays in June, July and August respectively. Encore viewings will occur during PBS KIDS’ new Family Night, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights throughout the summer on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream, provided by local stations. Viewers can check their local listings for details.

As part of the PBS’ “Summer of Adventure,” WILD ALASKA LIVE, a three-part, multi-platform production that explores the must-see natural spectacle that plays out across the vast Alaskan wilderness, will be hosted by Chris and Martin Kratt of PBS KIDS’ WILD KRATTS. The family-friendly event will air on PBS stations’ primary channels, and will also be simulcast on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream. On the 24/7 channel and live stream, WILD ALASKA LIVE will air immediately after WILD KRATTS one-hour specials, including WILD KRATTS: CREATURES OF THE DEEP SEA (on July 23) and WILD KRATTS ALASKA: HERO'S JOURNEY (on July 26 and 30).

“PBS Summer of Adventure” takes viewers and their families on an adventure around the world this season. The lineup of history, science and natural history programming includes the six-part series THE STORY OF CHINA, an exploration of China’s 4,000-year history featuring Michael Wood beginning June 20. The five-part program BIG PACIFIC, starting June 21, reveals the Pacific Ocean’s most guarded secrets. Following BIG PACIFIC on June 21, GREAT YELLOWSTONE THAW is a three-part series showcasing the stories of different animal families as they attempt to survive the toughest spring on Earth. On July 12, the three-part NATURE’S GREAT RACE explores the most astounding migrations on earth. RARE – CREATURES OF THE PHOTO ARK, beginning July 18, follows National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore in three episodes as he documents the world’s species at risk of extinction. WEEKEND IN HAVANA is a one-hour walking tour through Cuba on July 18. In WILD ALASKA LIVE, airing live over three nights beginning July 23, witness a must-see natural spectacle as thousands of the world’s wildest animals gather to take part in Alaska’s amazing summer feast. On August 2, IRELAND’S WILD COAST takes viewers on a one-hour journey along the island’s rugged Atlantic coast. Summer of Adventure will also include PBS KIDS programming, featuring three new one-hour specials: NATURE CAT: OCEAN COMMOTION (premieres June 19), WILD KRATTS ALASKA: HERO’S JOURNEY (premieres Monday, July 24.) and READY JET GO!: BACK TO BORTRON 7 (premieres August 14).

About PBS KIDS 
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby Award-winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video app is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

About Kratt Brothers Company 
Kratt Brothers Company, founded in 1993, has created and produced more than 250 episodes of television, including award-winning series: KRATTS' CREATURES, ZOBOOMAFOO, Kratt Brothers: Be The Creature and WILD KRATTS. Through its full service animation studio, Kratt Brothers Company is currently in production on its fifth season of the Emmy-nominated hit, WILD KRATTS. www.krattbrothers.com

About Spiffy Pictures
Spiffy Pictures, founded in 2003 by David and Adam Rudman, is a creative development and production company specializing in family entertainment. The Emmy Award-winning creative team has created, produced, written and directed live-action and animated projects for Nickelodeon, Disney, MTV, Comedy Central, Sesame Street and Warner Brothers. Their projects include creating and producing the Emmy- and Prix Jeunesse-nominated Jack’s Big Music Show for Nick Jr, the Emmy-nominated Bunnytown for Disney and Nick Jr.’s Parent’s Choice Award-winning Curious Buddies brand of home videos. Spiffy Pictures recently produced a puppet adaptation of Scooby Doo for Warner Brothers, titled Scooby-Doo! Adventures, The Mystery Map. Visit us at www.spiffypictures.com.

About Wind Dancer
Wind Dancer Films created and produced such successful television series as Home Improvement and Roseanne, along with box office successes such as What Women Want and Bernie. Founded by series creators Matt Williams and David McFadzean, and later joined by principal, Dete Meserve, Wind Dancer Films has produced hundreds of hours of comedies and family projects for film and television. www.WindDancer.com 

Contacts:
Lubna Abuulbah, PBS; 703.739.8463; labuulbah@pbs.org
Jenny Gusella, 360PR+; 617.585.5762; jgusella@360pr.plus  

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