PBS Kids Play! Provides Early Childhood Curriculum

Beginning today, PBS is opening the beta test for a new Internet-based educational service designed to provide children ages 3 to 6 with a comprehensive early childhood curriculum. PBS KIDS PLAY!(SM), which will be offered as a subscription service later this calendar quarter, uses interactive games and activities to provide a personalized learning experience at home. The PBS KIDS PLAY! Beta is currently available as a download from http://www.pbskidsplay.org/ and requires a high-speed Internet connection to use.

All of the games and activities in PBS KIDS PLAY! were designed from the ground up specifically to meet nationally recognized educational standards and benchmarks. The PBS KIDS PLAY! curriculum includes essential skill areas in Math, Science, Language, Literacy, Creativity, Healthy Development, and Social Studies. With a single click, parents can read about the learning objectives and instructions for each activity. PBS KIDS PLAY! also provides an easy-to- use progress chart that helps parents see the "big picture." The chart shows how each child is advancing through the curriculum, including an indicator of how far the child has progressed in each skill area. This information is tailored specifically for each child and includes recommendations for activities to try, based on the child's skill level.

PBS KIDS characters from programs including CURIOUS GEORGE, SUPER WHY!, MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD, FRANNY'S FEET, MAMA MIRABELLE'S HOME MOVIES, and THE BERENSTAIN BEARS will guide children through the activities.

During the beta test, PBS KIDS PLAY! is available for families to try at no cost. A limited number of activities are available, and more will be added throughout the beta period. To test the service, parents can visit www.pbskidsplay.org. The initial setup takes approximately two minutes. The service requires a computer with Windows XP or Vista operating system, mid- range processing power (Pentium 4 or Dual-Core), and broadband Internet access. PBS is planning to support the Mac OS in a future phase of development.