Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 53°F

Our Mission
Our History
WTTW Local Productions
WTTW National Productions
Our Sponsors
Pressroom
Management & Board
Financial Information
Employment
Volunteer
Directions
Community Advisory Board
Contact Us
 

WTTW Press Room


For Immediate Release
July 25, 2007

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, Imagine What a Picture of a Word is Worth

New PBS KIDS® Show WordWorld™ Brings Words to Life and Makes Learning to Read Fun

NEW YORK, July 25, 2007 – On Labor Day, preschoolers can step into a world where words truly are the stars of the show. WordWorld, debuting Sept. 3, 2007, on PBS KIDS® (check local listings), is a 3-D animated series funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education, which encourages three- to five-year-old children to become friends with words. The show makes preparing to read so much fun that kids will laugh out loud as they learn. WordWorld playfully brings words to life through a patent-pending methodology that embeds words into the objects they represent. It's an idea so simple yet powerful that parents can't help but ask: "Why didn't I think of that?" In each episode, children will join the ensemble cast of WordFriends™ - Dog, Sheep, Frog, Duck, Pig and Ant - as they explore their world of words. WordWorld's humorous storylines focus on age-appropriate social-emotional lessons while introducing preschoolers to key literacy-based skills, such as letter recognition and phonological awareness.

Created by Don Moody and Jacqueline Moody, with children's television veteran, Tina Peel, serving as executive vice president of production, education and research, and directed by Emmy™ Award winner Olexa Hewryk, 26 half-hour WordWorld episodes will air in the first season.

"WordWorld is an adventure series that makes words tangible by introducing preschoolers to a world of words that come alive right before their eyes," said Don Moody, founder and CEO of Word World, LLC. "The novelty of the show is that when a word is formed correctly, it morphs into the character or thing it represents, which makes learning to a read a totally new experience. Our goal is to help preschoolers prepare for reading by telling engaging stories that are fun, sparking their imaginations and fostering a love for words."

WordWorld's parent company Word World, LLC is part of the Ready To Learn Partnership (RTLP), a public-private consortium awarded a five-year, multi-million dollar grant by the U.S. Department of Education. Additional members of the consortium include Chicago PBS member station WTTW and the Michael Cohen Group, an international research firm responsible for formative and summative testing of the show.

"PBS is excited to extend its literacy-based content this fall with the introduction of WordWorld," said Linda Simensky, senior director, PBS Children's Programming. "The characters and their humorous interactions will make learning fun for preschoolers."

Meet the WordFriends
WordWorld features a variety of characters called the WordFriends. Each WordFriend has a distinct personality that is easily relatable and endearing to preschoolers. For example, Duck is the silly WordFriend who often "quacks himself up." He thinks he knows everything, but as one of the younger WordFriends, Duck has a great deal to learn, and the audience often learns right along with him. On the other hand, Sheep is bashful and imaginative, loves to play pretend and will give the wool off her back to anyone in need. Through compelling and engaging storytelling, preschoolers will build friendships with Sheep, Duck, brainy Frog, lovable Dog, gregarious Pig and a host of other quirky characters.

Literacy on the Joke Line
Structured in the classic narrative mode, each WordWorld storyline imparts an age-appropriate social-emotional lesson in a fun and humorous way, such as the importance of sharing, learning to be patient and accepting differences in others, while also exposing viewers to a pre-reading skill such as sounding out letters in words, rhyming or print orientation. At the climax of each episode, the WordFriends have fun by singing the contagious "Build a Word" song as they combine the correct letters to form a word that solves the story's problem.

In each episode, humor abounds, such as when Pig eats all the pie he promised to his friends and is in comic dire straits until he eventually discovers the power of the letter "s" to turn "pie" into "pies." Thankfully, through this word morph, Pig makes plenty of pie to feed the gang. In another episode, Bear and Sheep break a "box" apart into letters and send the letter "o" rolling around WordWorld, resulting in an adventurous search for the runaway "o." When the "o" is finally recovered, the friends rejoice as they put the word "box" back together. By tying the literacy lesson into the dramatic climax of the story, WordWorld achieves a seamless balance of education and entertainment. We call it "yearning and learning."

The ABCs of Reading
According to the latest National Assessment of Education Progress, 68 percent of the nation's fourth graders are reading below proficiency, a trend that continues through high school. In response, the U.S. Department of Education's Department of Innovation partially funded the development of WordWorld to help get three- to five-year-olds ready to learn while reinforcing the idea that learning to read can be fun.

The show's curriculum is based on scientifically-based reading research including research from the National Reading Panel (NRP), which was assembled by Congress and is comprised of leading scientists in reading research, representatives from colleges of education, teachers, educational administrators and parents. The WordWorld curriculum draws from four skill sets critical to young children's emergent literacy and social-emotional development. Every storyline incorporates at least one skill from each of the following skill sets: print awareness; phonological sensitivity and letter knowledge; comprehension; self-awareness and socio-emotional skills.

The Michael Cohen Group conducted comprehensive research and testing of the show, including 15 formative research studies with approximately 1,000 children, teachers and parents. Ongoing research will continue to inform production and modifications of the show to ensure the program effectively keeps children engaged and entertained while teaching and reinforcing key literacy skills. Quantitative summative research about the efficacy of the show will begin in fall 2007.

About Word World, LLC
Word World, LLC, created by Don Moody, is a multi-platform media franchise with a focus on helping develop literacy skills among three- to five-year-olds. Through a first-of-its-kind, patent-pending learning tool, all WordWorld products embed words into images to enhance word recognition. "WordWorld," the new television show for preschoolers is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is part of the Ready To Learn literacy initiative focused on helping children ages two to eight improve their reading skills. The Ready To Learn initiative is a partnership of the U.S. Department of Education, the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, PBS and the Ready To Learn Partnership. WordWorld debuts Sept. 3, 2007 on PBS KIDS and TVOntario. The TV series will be complemented by a Web site at pbskids.org and a line of DVDs, books, games and toys.

About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, are committed to providing the highest quality non-commercial content and learning environment for children across the country. Providing age-appropriate, diverse programming for kids, PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! programs consistently earn more prestigious awards than any other broadcast or cable network. Only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. With additional PBS resources to complement its programming, including PBS KIDS online (www.pbskids.org), PBS KIDS GO! online (www.pbskidsgo.org), PBS Parents (www.pbsparents.org), PBS TeacherSource (www.pbsteachersource.org), PBS Ready To Learn services and literacy events across the country, PBS is providing the tools necessary for positive child development. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 355 public television stations, serving nearly 90 million people each week and reaching 99% of American homes.

About WTTW National Productions
WTTW National Productions is a premier producer and presenter of original, high-quality television programs for both public and commercial television broadcast. WTTW National Productions is a division of Window to the World Communications, Inc., the parent company of WTTW11 Chicago, the nation's most-watched public television station. For more than 50 years, WTTW11 and WTTW National Productions have introduced a wide array of ground-breaking television programming – reflecting the world's rich and diverse arts and entertainment scene as well as education, politics, public affairs, business, and religion – to a national audience. Its landmark innovative series and original productions include the critically-acclaimed performance showcases Soundstage and Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis; Grannies on Safari; CEO Exchange; and MEXICO –One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless. WordWorld is the first of four children's properties to come from the Ready to Learn Partnership, a creative consortium that includes WTTW National Productions and Word World, LLC.

About the Michael Cohen Group
The Michael Cohen Group, LLC (MCG) is internationally recognized as a leader in innovative education, market, public opinion, media and evaluation research. MCG specializes in conducting studies with children and youth, their teachers, and their families in order to understand all social and psychic dimensions of young peoples' lives - as students, as family members, as peers, as consumers. MCG evaluators, representing a variety of disciplines including education, child development, and media have earned the trust of clients such as Sesame Workshop, PBS, Disney, Nickelodeon, Girl Scouts of America USA, The European Commission, The World Bank, and the U.S. Department of Education

The content of this press release were developed under a Cooperative Agreement from the U.S. Department of Education. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

For More Information:
Eileen Potrock
Word World, LLC
(212) 219-7666 x214

Holly H. Gilson
WTTW National Productions
(773) 509-5424

Angie Rolle
Weber Shandwick
(952) 346-6211

Jessica Boyer
Rogers & Cowan
(310) 854-8141 x214

Visit WordWorld!

       
WTTW11's American Graduate Day kicks off week of   cross-platform special programmingJAY'S CHICAGO Returns for a Second SeasonAkoo and WTTW National Productions Form Content-Sharing PartnershipCALIFORNIA STATE OF MIND: The Legacy of Pat BrownWTTW to be a founding member of Florida Joint Master Control VentureWTTW to Host the First Annual Check, Please! Food Truck FestWTTW's Check, Please! partners with Taste of ChicagoChicago-Themed Pilot for National Series to Air on WTTW Family Travel with Colleen KellyRay Davies, Lead Singer of the Kinks, Just Added to the Lineup for WWTTW11/98.7WFMT's May 9 BenefitWTTW Documentary Architect Michael Graves: A Grand Tour Recognized with Silver Plaque from 2012 HugoNew PBS TV Special to Explore 10 Buildings That Changed AmericaWTTW to Air the World Premiere of a New Music Special -- Alfie Boe: Live from the Royal Festival HalWTTW’s Geoffrey Baer to host new documentary -- Architect Michael Graves: A Grand TourWTTW11 Partners with Free Spirit Media on a President’s Day event, part of American GraduateWTTW to premiere a second season of The Chicago Stand-Up ProjectWTTW launches robust new website to complement Geoffrey Baer’s latest tour special, Chicago’s Loop:Window to the World Communications Elects Four New Members to Its Board of TrusteesWTTW Launches American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen in ChicagoWTTW to premiere the latest program in its popular Chicago tour series Chicago’s Loop: A New WalkingAl Jazeera English Comes to Chicago on WTTW, America’s Most-Watched Public Television StationWTTW Receives a $250,000 Grant from The Joyce FoundationWTTW PRESENTS THE U.S. BROADCAST PREMIERE  OF CATHOLOCISMWTTW Awarded a $100,000 Grant from the Corporation for Public BroadcastingWTTW/Chicago Recieves $32.5 Million Grant from U.S. Department of Education to Develop Multi-Media PWTTW and Kartemquin Films partner for multi-broadcast seriesMISSION TO PLANET 429 Scores High with Underserved Children in Recent StudyWTTW Presents U.S. Broadcast Premiere of LES MISÉRABLES 25TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT AT THE O2WTTW’s DUSABLE TO OBAMA: CHICAGO’S BLACK METROPOLIS premieres nationwideLES MISÉRABLES premieres on public television stations nationwide in February 2011PROCLAMATION OF HOPEWTTW’s Geoffrey Baer to host new documentary Architect Robert A.M. Stern: Presence of the PastRoger Ebert Presents At The Movies to be filmed at WTTW Studios in ChicagoDon Moody, in partnership with WTTW National Productions, launches third season of Emmy Award-winninWTTW announces new journalism fellowship in memory of broadcast legend John CallawayGrammy-winning R&B superstar Chaka Khan to headline WTTW's annual benefitWTTW presents Sounds of Faith - ChicagoWTTW's Geoffrey Baer to Host Hidden Chicago 2WordWorld Wins Two Emmy® Awards as Outstanding Children's Animated Program and for Outstanding WritiWTTW Airs New Local Two-Part Documentary: Islands without CarsSchoolboy to Showgirl: The Alexandra Billings StoryChicago Tonight 25th AnniversaryWestern SuburbsPress Release: The South Beach Heart ProgramPress Release: WTTW to present V-mePress Release: CEO EXCHANGE Launches Fifth SeasonPress Release: Word WorldPress Release: Fun and Run 2007SS United States: Lady in WaitingThree New TrusteesTaste of Check, Please! 2008Il-InformedGrannies on Safari 2008Out & Proud in ChicagoWTTW11 Launches New Children's Line-UpChicago's Puerto Rican StoryHEIDI 4 PAWSMotorola Grant Program Awards WTTW $25,000WTTW Presents Geoffrey Baer and Chicago's LakefrontWTTW Presents Irish ChicagoPresenting WTTW PrimeBarack Obama on WTTW’s Check, Please!Norm Bobins electedExploring Music's Bill McGlaughlin5th Annual Fun & RunSteve Robinson PromotionArts Across IllinoisPress Release: David Broza at Masada - ChicagoDavid Broza at Masada-AugustDavid Broza at Masada-NationalFoods of Chicago - A Delicious HistoryRetirement RevolutionOut and Proud in ChicagoCEO EXCHANGE: Tips For The WorkplaceA Lion in the HouseWord WorldChristian Farr Joins Chicago TonightMy City NowArts Across Illinois120505_WebsitesWFMT New SeriesWFMT From The Recording HornFun And Run 2006WTTW11's 3rd Annual WTTWKids Fun And Run091806 - WTTW11 Presents Remaking American Medicine110206 - American Roots Music: Chicago110606 - The Fox River Valley and Chain O' Lakes102005_MarinC2N101005_ILRoadTrip100305_RaceToMoon070505_WTTW50Press Release: David Broza at MasadaContact UsSite MapPressroomWTTW Digital ArchivesProduction ServicesCorporate SponsorshipHomeSchedulesProgramsWTTW KidsWTTW ArtsWTTW EventsSupport WTTWAbout UsMembers OnlyGeoffrey Baer Tours - Seven Wonders of ChicagoArchitect Robert A.M. Stern: Presence of the PastArchitect Michael Graves: A Grand TourArchitect Thomas Beeby10 Buildings that Changed AmericaCatholicismProhibitionAmerican Graduate