On the heels of exceptional research results released by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication*, the Emmy® Award-winning series Between the Lions heads into its 10th anniversary season with many reasons to celebrate! The study demonstrates that Between the Lions, when combined with teachers who are equipped with curriculum materials and who have received training, has a major impact on preschool literacy skills. The new season, which addresses a wide variety of letter sounds, vocabulary, and more, roars onto the small screen with 10 new episodes premiering Monday, September 20, on PBS KIDS (check local listings).
The recently-released study indicated that within an experimental group of children exposed to the Between the Lions curriculum, students’ letter sound scores, one of the more sophisticated and challenging early literacy skills, improved by nearly 300 percent.
“Ten years ago, Between the Lions was brought to life by producers armed with the goal of addressing the growing problems with reading literacy,” said Executive Producer Judy Stoia. “Nothing could be more rewarding than entering our 10th anniversary season with research results that underscore our educational mission and prove that Between theLions continues to make an impact by successfully teaching key literacy skills to preschoolers.”
On screen this season, the lovable lions–Theo, Cleo, Lionel, and Leona–experience new adventures both in and out of the library, where they’ll learn all about art and creativity, transportation, animal homes and pets! In the all-animated premiere episode, “Three More Little Pigs & The Ants and the Grasshopper,” Lionel, Leona, and the Wolf each try their hand at writing a sequel to The Three Little Pigs, and Leona finds a way to combine work and play. And, in the episode “City Mouse and Country Mouse & The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country!” famed comedian and television personality Rachel Dratch lends her voice to the narration of a tale about two mice living in two very different worlds.
“It’s wonderful to know that in this ever-evolving television landscape, we have continued to make a difference in the world of children’s media,” said Chris Cerf, Executive Producer for Sirius Thinking, co-creator and co-producer of the series. “After ten years, we’re so proud that Between the Lions continues to uphold the gold standard for children’s television while effectively translating its success into the classroom.”
“Endless opportunities exist to utilize the series’ proven methods to target groups of preschool through pre-kindergarten students in our communities,” added Nikki McCelleis, Deputy Executive Director for Education at Mississippi Public Broadcasting, a co-producer of the series. “We already have plans underway to implement these programs in more classrooms across Mississippi and are eager to see the path of success grow.”
Between the Lions debuted when Jordan was starting first grade and it was a wonderful show to reinforce the reading skills I was teaching him. When I told him it was the 10th anniversary season for the show my 11th grader said “Between the Lions rocks!” What do your kids think about this show? Leave me a comment and let me know.