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PR: Math Mystery Cartoon "Cyberchase" Kicks Off Back-to-School Event

by on August 15, 2007


Labor Day Kick-Off Features All-New “A Fraction Of A Chance”

Summer ends. The school bell rings. And kids with sunburnt noses and faded memories of fractions, decimals and division squirm. Where can they turn? To CYBERCHASE – the only math-based series on American television – for three weeks of answers to their most pressing math questions. Through September 21 on PBS KIDS GO!sm the young heroes of CYBERCHASE meet hippos, wizards, cyberbugs, and skateboard champs as they are challenged with adventures and mysteries that make math fun.

The Back to School with CYBERCHASE TV/Web event is designed to help kids, excite educators and relieve anxious parents searching for a new way to refresh their own understanding of math. The celebration kicks-off with the Labor Day premiere of “A Fraction of a Chance,” when the loveable cyberbird Digit must team up with Wicked, the witch, to rescue his friends – who are trapped in a cyber portal.

“Kids are coming off a vacation and need to sweep away their mental cobwebs and refresh the math they have learned,” says Carey Bolster, co-director of math content for CYBERCHASE, an Emmy Award-winning program targeted primarily at children aged 8-11. “In our Back to School with CYBERCHASE initiative, we have selected episodes that deal with core math skills and concepts that will energize and extend their understanding of mathematics as they enter a new school year.”

Back to School with CYBERCHASE gets kids excited about math by showing their animated heroes solving problems in wacky stories with dastardly villains and hilarious situations. The final week of Back to School with CYBERCHASE is devoted to financial literacy, with shows that focus on saving, spending and budgeting to help give kids the math tools they need to make smart money choices.

The fun continues at CYBERCHASE Online with math-based Web games and activities and special features for parents and teachers to use at home or in the classroom, including enlightening “Tips for Parents and Caregivers” and “Tips for Educators.” Beginning August 27, online visitors can preview “Harry’s Sweet Job,” the new CYBERCHASE For Real segment from “A Fraction of a Chance” in which Harry (Matt Wilson) gets a new job in a chocolate shop.

A sixth season of CYBERCHASE will premiere this fall on PBS KIDS GO! along with new online features and outreach in communities across America.

Nearly five million viewers watch CYBERCHASE every week, and CYBERCHASE Online has had more than 1.7 billion page views, with visitors spending more than an hour at the site on the average visit. CYBERCHASE is successfully accomplishing its mission to improve kids’ problem-solving and math skills, and inspire them with confidence and enthusiasm toward math. Independent research studies demonstrate viewers understand and take away the math content of the episodes they watch.

CYBERCHASE is produced by Thirteen/WNET New York and Nelvana Limited. Executive producers are Sandra Sheppard, Thirteen’s executive director of Children’s and Educational Programming, and Frances Nankin. Ellen Doherty is senior series producer.

Major funding for CYBERCHASE is provided by the National Science Foundation, Ernst & Young LLP, Northrop Grumman Corporation, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by The Volckhausen Family.


Thirteen/WNET New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Wide Angle, Secrets of the Dead, NOW With David Brancaccio, and Cyberchase – as well as the work of Bill Moyers – to audiences nationwide. As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen reaches millions of viewers each week, airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as The Ethnic Heritage Specials, The Thirteen Walking Tours, New York Voices, and Reel New York. Thirteen extends the impact of its television productions through educational and community outreach projects – including the Celebration of Teaching and Learning – as well as Web sites and other digital media platforms. More information can be found at: www.thirteen.org.

Nelvana Limited is one of the world’s leading international producers and distributors of children’s programming and products. Its current stable of franchise properties includes Emmy Award®-winning and globally renowned brands such as Rolie Polie Olie, Babar, Franklin and Beyblade. Nelvana is owned by Corus Entertainment, a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in both specialty TV and Radio. The company’s other interests include music, television broadcasting and advertising services. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.NV.B) and New York (CJR) Exchanges. Corus’ website can be found at www.corusentertainment.com.

The National Science Foundation is an independent agency of the United States Government with a mandate to promote the progress of science and engineering in the United States. Given the strong relationship between research and education, the NSF’s mission includes strengthening the quality and effectiveness of the nation’s underlying human resource base. NSF’s cohesive and comprehensive set of education and human resources activities addresses every level of education. The NSF supports the development of stimulating, quality science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education that is vitally important to ensuring a diverse, scientific and technical workforce as well as a citizenry capable of mastering the scientific and technological concepts and skills needed by work, social and home environments of increasing technological sophistication.

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 (pbskids.org), PBS KIDS GO! online (pbskidsgo.org), PBS Parents (pbsparents.org), PBS Teachers (pbs.org/teachers), 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 73 million people each week and reaching 99% of American homes.

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