Last week, PBS KIDS premiered the new animated series Alma’s Way, by Fred Rogers Productions. The series is created by Boriqua, Emmy Award winner Sonia Manzano, who made history as the first Latinx character ever on national TV as Sesame Street’s “Maria,” a role she played for 44 years. She was a writer on Sesame Street for 15 years and is now excited to share her Puerto Rican culture, as well as a story based on her own life, through her new show Alma’s Way.
PBS Kids has a rich history of teaching our young children important life skills before they even reach the classroom and educational television has become a staple to learning. While doctors have instilled in many of us the need to limit our children’s screen time, more recent research shows how learning platforms like PBS Kids actually improve children’s math and literacy scores. They help prepare kids for school and make them excited about learning. Furthermore, shows that tell diverse stories, that children of color can relate to, improve their confidence and self-worth. Diverse television also exposes children from all backgrounds to our multicultural world and helps them build emotional intelligence. That’s why we’re so excited about Alma’s Way!
The show is about 6-year-old Alma Rivera, a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx, New York. We get to meet her supportive and inspiring family, along with her diverse group of friends. The show is promised to be grounded in social and emotional curriculum and will give children ages 4-6 the tools to find their own answers, express how they feel, and respect the diverse perspectives of others. Sonia Manzano shared, “I am so excited to introduce Alma, a strong and positive Puerto Rican girl who will empower young viewers. Alma’s way is to think things through, and we hope the new series will show kids that their thought processes are valid and give them the confidence to think critically.”
Not only am I excited about the representation of different cultures and the unique educational value in this show, but I’m also incredibly proud of the creator Sonia Manzano, who at 71-years-old is continuing her legacy as a Latina in the educational television world. Episodes of Alma’s Way are available on PBS Kids, where it’s offered in both English and Spanish and free to watch. Go check it out!
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