Giveaway & At Home Activity: Super Why Helps Kids Be Super Readers & The APISS Kids Take the Challenge This Week

Eve and Clifford

The way to a blogging mom’s heart? Provide child care during daytime events

& your child’s favorite big red dog as the greeter!

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a roundtable discussion and presentation at PBS to hear of the child literacy goals of SUPER WHY! And as you can see from the photo above, PBS so gets moms: they provided a Super Why-sensational child care for our kids and had Clifford greet them in the lobby! Eve was in PBS fangirl heaven.

Leading the discussion in the moms’ room was Super Why’s Creator and Executive Producer, Angela C. Santomero (she also created Blues Clues), and Lesli Rotenberg, PBS’ Senior Vice President of Children’s Media, other key PBS staff and a bunch of the DC Metro Moms with kids aged 3-6 years, the target audience of the show.

I have to admit, before the luncheon I was under the impression that this show was a clever, watchable vehicle to get kids excited about words. I liked that it had PBS’ indelible stamp of appropriate, non-commercial, educational content. The characters were spunky and fired up about learning. The opening bars of the Super Why ditty meant that I could safely dash to the shower without my children having a nightmare or seizure brought on by a freaky violent anime show. Basically, my opinion of this cute PBS cartoon was safe preschool content, full stop.

I was very impressed to learn that Super Why is a whole lot more, and that it has been proven to dramatically better children’s reading skills – check out the findings of this study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania. Super Why was designed specifically to help kids age 3-6 with the critical skills that they need to learn to read. Each of the four characters on the show embodies one of the skills recommended by the National Reading Panel: Alpha Pig = alphabet skills, Wonder Red = word families, Princess Presto = spelling and Super Why = reading comprehension and vocabulary. (They’re not simply cutie pies with capes.) Using interactive literacy games and problems preschoolers can relate to and help solve, Super Why grips the child viewer and shows her that reading is an empowering adventure.

Example of a Super Why Episode Breakdown
Alpha Pig has a problem.

Social-Emotional Problem
The Super Readers fly in to a book.

Reading Adventure
Alpha Pig solving his problem.

Problem Resolution

So here’s what I’m going to be doing this week on Monday-Friday with my five year old early reader Charlie and my three year old pre-reader Eve: We’re Taking the Super Reader Challenge!

And you can do it with us! Over a five-day period, you and your Super Reader can work together to maximize the educational value of Super Why. These activities can be ways to make the day interesting if you’re home with your kids, or they can be fun evening reading exercises for working parents/kids in school during the day.

First, watch the “The Three Little Pigs” episode:

Then each day work with your child on these printable worksheets:

On the days we have time, we’ll also be trying these fun activities:

  • SUPER WHY on Are your kids into a limited daily “computer time?” Then set the timer and and head to Super Why online. The site’s mission is to help kids learn key reading skills, including alphabet, word families, spelling and reading comprehension, through interactive online games, activities and more.
I’m also going to now be watching Super Why WITH my kids to help foster their reading skills, not simply using Wyatt and his pals as a means to a shower.

In the DC area, here is when Super Why airs:

6:30-7am Monday – Friday on WETA, WETA Kids & WETA HD

8:30-9am Monday – Friday on MPT & MPTHD

1:30-2pm Monday – Friday on WHUT

3:30-4pm Monday-Friday on WETA, WETA Kids & WETA HD

If you live elsewhere, use the PBS Kids easy TV listing finder.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS: For a chance to win your very own Super Why DVD, all you have to do is pledge to take the 5 day Super Reader Challenge with your kids in the comments below! (You don’t have to do it *this* week like us…how about this summer when school’s out?) I’ll randomly draw the winner of Super WHY! The Three Little Pigs & Jack and the Beanstalk DVD in one week!

And next weekend I’ll give you the straight scoop on Charlie and Eve’s reading skill progress! Teach Mama Amy, a teacher and tutor that practices what she preaches while raising her three great kids, took the five day challenge last week and Tech Savvy Mama Leticia has a round up on DC Metro Moms of many of the bloggers’ in attendance perspectives on the Super Why event too.

Eve is already loving this PBS Kids project. The way to her heart is with character hugs.


  1. What do you think is the preferred baby carrier then? After this research
    I am always divided between a rucksack carrier and a baby sling, I need an item that
    won’t result in an excessive amount pain when carrying him for several hours at a time.

    My web-site … Shani

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