Thursday, October 11, 2007

Meet Panwapa, The New Muppets

Sesame Workshop launched a world-wide video initiative yesterday called Panwapa. The aim of the new Muppet crew is to celebrate cultural diversity and "foster a foundation for global citizenship and community in children around the world".

Panwapa means "here on this earth" in Tshiluba - the national language in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Panwapa website has a Word of the Day and Place of the Day feature to highlight countries and cultures from around the world. It also has an interactive globe where kids can 'visit' kids from around the world.

Kids can make their own Panwapa profile of sort by making up their own 'flag'. They pick their favorite food, animal, sport, musical instrument, activity and craft. These icons are then displayed on their flag to hang outside their virtual house. They can collect a variety of cards- a card from each country they visit, a card for each interesting animal they encounter on their visit or by completing a treasure hunt. As you can see- there is lots to do on this in depth website. The site is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin and Japanese.

The full Panwapa video program is being released through iTunes for free (gotta love the free educational stuff) and in January 2008 Panwapa vidoes will be available for free via PBS KIDS Sprout’s video-on-demand service.

Below is Whoopie Goldberg with Elmo and Azibo at a news conference to announce Panwapa in New York yesterday.

No comments: