New Children’s Video Series Promoting Early Childhood Development Wows Kids, Parents & Educators

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The Wowzies, a new, high energy, childrenÂ?s educational video series is setting a new standard in childrenÂ?s shows as it incorporates foundational childhood educational development concepts into its shows -- as defined by experts and statewide advocacy groups-- in a way thatÂ?s making learning fun for kids to the delight of kids, parents and educators across the country.

When life-long friends Sean King and Bob King formed Quick Start Kids LLC (http://www.wowzies.com), they challenged themselves to create an educational children’s series that could compete with commercial children’s television. Almost a year later, “The Wowzies, Volume I,” the first in their newly released children’s educational video, DVD and CD series, is wowing kids, parents and educators across the country. And for good reason.

Far from the stiff educational videos of the past, the Wowzies series has a colorful assortment of delightful, furry puppet characters who sing catchy, original songs that make learning math, reading, science and music tons of fun for kids aged 1-6. This fast paced, high-energy programming is full of bright colors, bouncy music, and stunning underwater photography that entertains while it transports children through over 15 different "learning adventures.”

From national experts in early childhood education to statewide initiatives, the consensus is that lessons being taught through the Wowzies series are critical to a child’s development and later educational success. The Wowzie co-creators went to great lengths to research concepts teachers have trouble getting across to young children. As a result, the Wowzies series incorporates catchy, easy-to-learn and age-appropriate songs that familiarize young children with letters, basic words, numbers, counting, colors, and shapes. They also introduce children to social skills, science, and animals in the world around them, from orangutans to tarantulas. And, unlike the majority of children’s shows on commercial television, the Wowzies is free from violent or aggressive behavior of any kind.

Experts in child development like David Walsh, Ph.D., who is frequently called upon by national news media programs to speak on the topic of children and media, have long stressed the importance of quality programming for young children. A Fact Sheet published on the website of the National Institute on Media and the Family, the non-profit group of which he is the president and founder, cites major research studies demonstrating that children who watch programming such as the Wowzies, that is specifically educational in nature and aimed at their age level, significantly outperform children in pre-reading skills at age five over those who watch cartoons or other purely entertainment shows. Another study cited found that children, who watched educational programs as pre-schoolers achieved higher grades, read more, exhibited less aggression, and placed more value on academics when they reached high school.

Across the country educational planning groups have made strides in defining and encouraging excellence in early childhood education. Among these is the “First 5 California Children and Families Commission” (ccfc.ca.gov). The resources and guidelines provided by First 5 refer to the importance of developing literacy skills, such as letter-sound correspondence, acquainting children with the concepts of sorting, comparing (e.g., taller than, smaller than), sequencing (e.g., before and after). They also speak to the need for young children to have the opportunity to hear words spoken and songs sung aloud and the importance of a parent having their child watch educational TV programs, as they help a child to learn about letters and sounds. In short, the very skills that are considered by a key State of California state-wide initiative to have an impact on the ease with which children learn to read later on, and to be the building blocks for analytical thinking, are emphasized over and over again in the Wowzies series in a context that is fun for kids.

“The existence of appropriate educational content in young children’s programming is a key to success later in life,” says Sean King, Wowzies co-creator and father of two young children. “Children between the ages of 1-6 are at a critical stage in their development-- research indicates that the emotional, physical and intellectual environment a child is exposed to early on has a profound impact on how the brain is organized. But we also have this situation where most kids today spend more time watching television than any other activity except sleeping! As a father, I wanted to create children’s programming that intentionally reinforces lessons determined by educators and children’s advocacy groups to be essential to strong early childhood development and the achievement of academic success as kids grow up.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends programs be geared to the age of the child, reinforce language and social skills, and be non-violent in nature. The FCC (Federal Communication Commission) requires broadcasters to air a minimum of three hours per week of educational and informational programming, yet studies reveal disappointing news—most children’s programming doesn’t really deserve that “educational and informational” programming label. The Wowzies are on the forefront of changing this, as they pass the criteria test for truly “educational programming” with flying colors.

Wowzie co-creator Robert King summed up the Wowzie mission. “All Wowzie products must meet our three basic criteria. First, it must be entertaining and fun, second, the production value must be top quality, and third, it must have solid, verifiable educational content. In a nutshell, we believe children can have fun while learning, and we’re excited that watching the Wowzies is considered a great way to do that.”

Pre-school teacher and new Wowzie enthusiast Gerri Chambers-McGee commented, “As a teacher, I appreciate the fun and excitement put into learning that’s provided by the colorful Wowzie characters.” iParenting Media, an organization that determines the best products in the children’s media and juvenile products industry on an annual basis, agrees. They awarded “The Wowzies, Volume I” with its prestigious iParenting Media Award in their home video/DVD category, observing, “Everything was educational as well as fun.”

“The Wowzies have raised the bar in educational children’s programming,” says Kelly Young, mother of two. “There’s a dizzying array of toys, games and videos to choose from out there, but how many children’s shows reflect non-violent, family values and help build critical learning skills? Parents can have total peace of mind while their kids are watching the Wowzies. Particularly with the holidays coming up, the Wowzies videos will make a great gift for those with youngsters.”

About Quick Start Kids

Quick Start Kids is a Los Angeles-based limited liability corporation (LLC) established in 2003 by co-founders Sean King and Robert King with the mission to create quality children’s products, including educational videos, DVDs, CDs, books, toys, and software, as well as live performances. The Wowzies represent decades of combined creative talent and experience in entertainment technology. For more information about the Wowzies series and characters, or to book an event with the Wowzies, please visit http://www.wowzies.com.

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