Expand Your Child's Cultural Horizons with Molly of Denali!

PBS Kids has done a wonderful job of including diverse characters in its shows for years, but they've now raised the bar with their Molly of Denali series!

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All of the Molly of Denali graphics are actually photos of the show on my tv. 

I'm over at Pam Barnhill's site again today, sharing my Teaching Young Kids About Cultural Diversity post that gives you ideas for how to expose your family to different cultures around the world.

Click on over to check out that list after you read all about Gv's favorite new show that will be a fun way to accomplish that goal!

It was at the point of our hum-dinger of a summer road trip this past year when we were stuck in L.A. waiting to see if we'd be able to return home in the same car we arrived in that Gv discovered a new PBS Kids show that was about to debut (hooray for staying with friends with internet!)

We've all been fans of PBS Kids for years -- Gv has loved a few of the shows so much that she's had birthday parties themed after them -- like Peg + Cat and Super Why -- so we weren't surprised when we heard her squeal of delight.

She was watching her most current favorite (Another fairly new show named Let's Go Luna that is also fantastic for expanding cultural awareness), when she heard about the upcoming premiere of Molly of Denali.

This show made television history when it debuted in mid-July because it's the first nationally distributed children's show to feature an indigenous lead character, a 10-year-old Athabascan girl from Alaska named Molly, whose family owns the Denali Trading Post.

Even though we're here in Florida and about as far from Alaska as you can get, Gv was especially overjoyed to watch this show because she had so much exposure to First Nations history this summer on our trip.

(Thanks, National Park Service, for providing so many amazing opportunities for all of us to learn more about First Nations peoples in our country!)

G and I have even watched a few episodes with her and we really like what we've seen. The show does a wonderful job educating young viewers about this distinct cultural group, as Molly spends much of her time making new connections to her Native identity.

Gv most loves learning neat things about Alaska and I would bet her favorite episode is one that she's been singing the song from ever since she watched it.

A song that happens to be in an indigenous language, which is super-cool to hear. (Remember my post on talkbox.mom? It's amazing what our kids can pick up and learn when their excitement is sparked!)

PBS has really done a great job with this show. The characters are voiced by Alaska Natives and there are extra clips at the end of each show featuring real indigenous children who share even further Native values.

Both Molly and Tooey (on left and right) are voiced by indigenous actors.

Aside from the cultural significance of this show, Molly of Denali is also the first television program to explicitly use the educational tool known as "informational text."

And as a former elementary teacher, I can tell you that this is a huge bonus, since the world of education has realized how under-served kids are in this area and has shifted classroom learning goals toward a focus on this form of literacy.

Molly takes information from all sorts of sources (even things like train schedules, photographs and radio programs) and then uses that information to solve problems. The show's creators hope that its young viewers will be empowered to solve their own problems using the information that surrounds them.

Molly uses informational text to help solve problems

If it's been a while since your kids have explored PBS Kids or if you think they've aged out of it (it's not all Daniel Tiger, you know!), then re-calibrate your thoughts and explore all of what the network now has to offer -- especially Molly of Denali!

Psst! They're not out yet, but there are a couple of fun-looking Molly of Denali books available for pre-order here. This sticker book just might make it into a certain little Floridian's Christmas stocking this year!

Pre-order this fun sticker book and a few other titles here

Have your kids discovered this fun new show yet? I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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1 comment:

  1. This sounds so fantastic!! Excited to hear about this and excited to branch beyond Daniel tiger when the time comes hehe.