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NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR CHILDREN'S EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION

Fiscal Year 1995 Grant Awards


CALIFORNIA

File No. 95123 Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education (FASE). Los Angeles, CA. Contact: Mr. Keith Miller, Vice President. Telephone: 213-937-9911. Funds Awarded: $350,000. Total Project Cost: $600,000. »To research and script 26 half-hour episodes of The Eddie Files, a proposed new series for 8 to 11 year olds intended to help children develop a greater knowledge of, and appreciation for, the "real-world applications" of math, science, technology and career choices. The series will feature Ms. Kay Toliver, an award-winning mathematics teacher from East Harlem Tech/PS 72, whom the audience will see through the eyes of a fictitious 11-year-old named Eddie. A FY93 NECET grant of $300,000 funded the research, development, scripting, production and evaluation of a half-hour pilot program of The Eddie Files.


File No. 95007 KQED, Inc. San Francisco, CA. Contact: Ms. Mary G.F. Bitterman. Telephone: 415-553-2201. Funds Awarded: $200,000; Total Project Cost: $1,212,374. »To produce 13 half-hour episodes of Short Stories and Tall Tales, a proposed new series for 6 to 9 year olds that features the oral tradition of storytelling as a multi-faceted vehicle for passing on knowledge, values and intellectual tools, such as problem solving, to new generations. The series will attempt to show how history has been preserved, respected and given life through the art of storytelling that ranges from the myths of the ancient Greeks, the rhymes of Jamaican toasters, and the oral traditions of Native American tribes. The series intends to promote language and literacy skills, to develop multicultural awareness, to demonstrate positive social values, to demonstrate that storytelling, and the learning related to it, is fun and enjoyable, and to engage the audience in active viewing. A NECET FY94 grant of $75,000 funded the development, production and evaluation of a half-hour pilot program of Short Stories and Tall Tales.


MASSACHUSETTS

File No. 95126 WGBH Educational Foundation. Boston, MA. Contact: Ms. Brigid Sullivan, Vice President for Special Telecommunications Services. Telephone: 617-492-2777 (ext 2411). Funds Awarded: $375,000. Total Project Cost: $4,580,110. »To produce 10 half-hour episodes of Season II of Arthur , a animated series for 3 to 8 year olds that promotes reading and writing skills, and that demonstrates effective, age-appropriate "life skills" such as problem-solving, empathy, communication, self-respect, and respect for others. The series, which is based on the popular books by Marc Brown, features Arthur, an 8 year-old aardvark, and a cast of well-defined characters. A FY93 NECET grant of $300,000 funded the research, development and writing of 10 scripts and a series overview for Season I of Arthur, which is set to premiere on PBS in the fall of 1996 as public television's first daily animated series. Season II will follow in the fall of 1997.


File No. 95071 Judge Baker Children's Center. Boston, MA. Contact: Ms. Amy R. Nevis, Managing Director. Telephone: 617-232-8390. Funds Awarded: $325,000. Total Project Cost: $691,574. »To script, produce and evaluate a half-hour pilot program of Willoughby's Wonders, a proposed weekly, half-hour, live action, comedy/drama series for 6 to 9 year-olds that features children on an urban soccer team. Recognizing that children today are faced with an array of social problems, pressures, and distractions that can severely inhibit their capacity to function in school and in the community, the series will emphasize the development of fundamental social coping capacities (e.g., handling frustration, developing tolerance and self-understanding, delaying gratification, etc.), and the attributes associated with personal resilience. A FY94 NECET grant of $50,000 funded the research and development of a script treatment for a pilot program of Willoughby's Wonders.


File No. 95077 President and Fellows of Harvard College. Cambridge, MA. Contact: Ms. Patricia Tucker, Director, Awards Management and Resource Information. Telephone: 617-495-5501. Funds Awarded: $250,000. Total Project Cost: $501,016. »To research, script and evaluate Video Jury , a unique concept for the development of a 13-part interactive children's science television broadcast series built around the most current research on how children learn science. Intended for 9 to 12 year olds, each program will focus on a comic interactive courtroom drama, a simulation in which the viewer serves as jury. The audience will use MCI interactive technologies in the form of free 800 numbers and the Internet to cast their ballots in an on-air "trial" and to interact with the program as it unfolds. The interaction is designed so that viewers in disadvantaged communities, with access to nothing more technological than a telephone, can fully participate in the interaction. The stories presented in each program, and the evidence making up the "case file" for the trial, hinge on fundamental concepts in science. To resolve the case, viewers are encouraged to take their ideas to "the net," and to take a stand on how they make sense of the evidence presented.


File No. 95003 Florentine Films. Haydenville, MA. Contact: Mr. Lawrence R. Hott, Producer. Telephone: 413-268-8300. Funds Awarded: $175,000; Total Project Cost: $408,500. »To research, script and produce John Muir: Earth-Planet, Universe, a one-hour dramatic feature for 7 to 12 year-olds on the boyhood of John Muir, often considered to be this nation's first environmentalist. John Muir's early life is a story of immigration, family conflict and personal discovery. Set in the landscape of 19th century Wisconsin, the story takes John Muir from his early days on a hard scrabble farm to his work as a carriage factory foreman in Indiana. It is in the factory that Muir loses his sight, and it is during his convalescence that he relives his life and decides on a new course for his future. The program is intended to introduce a young audience to an important piece of American history, and to inspire and entertain children and their families. The script balances two story-telling essentials--tension and humor.


NEW YORK

File No. 95031 Terra Associates. New York, NY. Contact: Mr. Ozzie Alfonzo, President and Executive Producer. Telephone: 212-226-3170. Funds Awarded: $200,000; Total Project Cost: $496,464. »To script, produce and evaluate a half-hour pilot program of Vitessa Comes to Sit, a proposed math and science series for 5 to 8 year olds that features Vitessa, a "cool" 17 year old baby sitter who happens to be an alien from another planet, and her charges, 10 year old Sina and 6 year old Matt. Vitessa knows very little about our planet, but her voracious curiosity and observational skills turn every baby sitting occasion into an adventure, with her scientific experiments spurred-on by the kids' curiosity resulting in important science and math lessons learned in an everyday, "non-scientific" setting. With its strong female lead and situation comedy/drama format, the program is designed to appeal to girls as well as boys, which often is not the case with science and math programming for this age group.


PENNSYLVANIA

File No. 95125 QED Communications, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA. Contact: Mr. Jay Rayvid, Senior Vice President. Telephone: 412-622-1465. Funds Awarded: $250,000. Total Project Cost: $4,617,750. »To produce 65 half-hour episodes of Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?, a proposed new series of half-hour game shows for 8 to 12 year olds intended to promote historical literacy. Modeled after the successful geography series, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, the new series will attempt to create positive attitudes toward history by fostering "historical thinking skills" (e.g., an ability to recognize connections between events of the past and present), by encouraging children to see historic events from many perspectives, and by inspiring young people to pursue an exploration of history on their own. Funding from NECET will primarily be used to offset costs for creative talent, performance rights, and post-production expenses.


File No. 95127 WHYY, Inc. Philadelphia, PA. Contact: Mr. Robert C. Prindible, Vice President for Finance. Telephone: 215-351-1234. Funds Awarded: $225,000. Total Project Cost: $803,360. »To produce 26 half-hour episodes of TRACKS (Truly Really Awesome Cool Kids' Stuff), a proposed series for 6 to 12 year olds that promotes self-esteem and empowerment through personal accomplishment. Its goal is to encourage regular kids to expand their thinking about what they can accomplish, and to stimulate children to pursue creative, athletic and intellectually challenging goals. Each show features children of achievement from across the country who have mastered diverse skills--artistic, creative, athletic, academic, scientific, social or occupational--who show that hard work and commitment can lead to significant accomplishments with lasting psychological and social rewards. Each child demonstrates his or her skill and narrates the segment in which he or she is featured. TRACKS enhances children's knowledge by conveying information to kids by kids.


WISCONSIN

File No. 95118 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System/WHA. Madison, WI. Contact: Mr. Byron Knight, Director of Television. Telephone: 608-263-2129. Funds Awarded: $150,000; Total Project Cost: $1,332,793. »To produce 13 half-hour episodes of Get Real!, an award-winning magazine series for 6 to 10 year olds that presents positive images of children involved in and succeeding at a range of various activities. Currently a Wisconsin-based program, the producers intend to expand the show into a regional series for the 1996-97 season. The series reinforces the value of children's ideas, their questions, and their skill and ability to carry out various tasks and roles. Each program explores a variety of educational topics, and seeks to model and reinforce involvement in, and positive attitudes toward, history, geography, science and technology.



Last Modified: 02Oct95

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications