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This 43,890-acre wildlife area in southern Illinois includes three man-made lakes totaling 8,700 surface acres and is one of the largest refuges in the Great Lakes/Big Rivers Region. What is it called? Click here to find out!
Author: Kristopher Lewis
Kristopher Lewis is a Radio and Television major at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He was raised in Mascoutah and has recently joined the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Kris started working as a student employee at WSIU Public Broadcasting in winter, 2013. He is the performer behind our popular PBS KIDS characters, Super WHY and Cat in the Hat.
While working in WSIU's Education and Outreach program, I have had the opportunity to
be the Cat in the Hat from the famous Dr. Seuss book at several community events around
the region. I can truly say it is fun for me--and judging from the children's smiles—it is fun
for them as well. It is such a great opportunity to act wild and witty to impress these young
children and see their faces light up with joy. When I was a kid, I became familiar with the
story through the children's book, and I read it over and over again. Today, children have so
many more choices and activities they can do with the loveable Cat in the Hat character,
such as the PBS KIDS games online at http://pbskids.org/catinthehat/. One of the newest
games on the Cat in the Hat web pages is the Math Safari. Math Safari is a series of games
that teach skills such as spatial sense, numbers, counting, measurement, patterns, addition,
and more. My favorite game in theMath Safari is Bee Hive and Seek. In this game, the
Thinga-ma-jigger shrinks to bee-size in order to look for honey in a hide-and-seek game.
The game begins with a lost baby honeybee and a map of a garden sprinkled with lots of
hives. Children follow a series of directional clues to help the baby bee find its home. This
game teaches children how to use a map and follow directions. This game is really good for
children ages 3 to 5. I am becoming more skilled at working with children's media and
performing as the PBS KIDS characters they know and love. I hope to meet you some day
soon, and I am blessed to help bring children's dreams into reality!
Author: Assia Baker
A Southern Illinois tradition continues as WSIU and Cedarhurst Center for the Arts invite you and the little ones you love to join us in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
This free family event will be held on Saturday, April 20th from 12 to 3 pm at Cedarhurst in Mt. Vernon.
Let your curiosity be the guide as you take a closer look to find treasures everywhere. There are many educational activities to choose from in our land of make believe. Enjoy the Salley Mavor fabric art exhibit, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes.
Salley Mavor’s Wee Folk Studio brings your favorite nursery rhymes to life with felt and found materials from the world of nature. Just in case you want to hear and say more nursery rhymes, join Mother Goose under the tree in the Beck Family Center. Share nature with your children by walking along our nature trail. Experiment with playing PBS KIDS game apps for mobile devices. Bring your smart phone, iPad, or Kindle Fire for downloads. Spy Filo the Fox in the woods.
The topic of dieting is very popular in media. Everywhere we look someone is trying to sell a diet: eat carbohydrates, don’t eat carbohydrates, loose weight without exercising. What if we applied this concept to media itself? Maybe Americans do need to go on a diet--a media diet.
Did you know that screen time is highly discouraged for children under the age of two? (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). Some studies show that excess screen time is a factor in childhood obesity (White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, 2010). Other studies show that TV could possibly contribute to ADHD (Christakis, 2004). With all this research against screen time and media, why does the average child still have two to three hours of screen time a day (Vandewater and Lee, 2009)?
Given the extensive research pointing to excessive media use among children, maybe we need to take a bit of a media diet. Cut back on how much screen time is in our day. There are many other activities that families could do together besides watching television or playing with mobile devices and video games. Try exploring a puzzle, play a board game, read together, spend some time together in the kitchen, do a craft, create a work of art, or talk about your day. This does not even include all the wonderful activities the outdoors offers: go on a bike ride, take a family walk, visit your local park, play a sport, or get your hands dirty in the garden. All of these activities provide cognitive, physical, social/emotional, and language benefits for your child. Plus, they will help you become a closer family. If you normally watch three hours of television, why not try taking one of those hours to do a family activity?
Arthur is an animated PBS KIDS program series for four to eight year old children. Arthur is based on Marc Brown's books. The program has been around for 16 seasons airing 190 episodes. With each episode Arthur's goal is to help foster an interest in reading and writing, and to encourage positive social skills. I believe the authors of Arthur are succeeding in their mission to implement a passion for learning and positive social skills in our youth. I grew up watching Arthur as a child, and to this day I still use skills I learned on Arthur in real life situations. Watching Arthur, I learned things like being kind, respecting others, sharing getting along, and the importance of telling the truth. Arthur is the reason I joined the spelling bee and asked my mom to take me to get a library card. I believe Arthur played a strong role in the person I am today.
Author: Jheaniqua Harbin-Tate
Media is all around us; one of the most-used forms is television. Children are watching more television than ever and becoming very efficient with other forms of media. With media surrounding us, we can benefit from thoughtful and intentional use of it. We can teach through television.
Television offers a spectrum of themes, formats and genres, ranging from material that is totally unsuitable for children to imaginative content that opens new doors to learning for children. PBS KIDS educational programs such as Martha Speaks aim to give children additional vocabulary, while Sid the Science Kid introduces basic scientific skills. Still other programs, such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George, display a range of information with lessons on friendships and social skills. Television shows are designed to entertain, but they also have educational opportunities. A child may watch Sesame Street and sing along, but they are also learning, and your help makes all the difference to them in this process.
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