One of 5 Stations to Receive Grant to Develop Educational Materials for new ‘Molly of Denali’ series
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Alaska Public Media (AKPM) has been selected to receive a $65,000 grant from WGBH, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, to help design educational resources for the upcoming PBS KIDS series Molly of Denali, the first nationally distributed children’s series to feature a Native American lead character.
Alaska Public Media is one of five public television stations nationwide selected to work together as part of an Education Working Group to develop resources and local engagement strategies for Molly of Denali, the groundbreaking series produced by WGBH Boston that will premiere on PBS on July 15, 2019.
The stations – Alaska Public Media (Anchorage), Blue Ridge PBS (Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia), KNPB (Reno, Nevada), Mountain Lake PBS (Plattsburgh, New York), and Prairie Public (North Dakota) — were selected to bring the social, cultural and geographic perspectives of their communities to the Education Working Group, which also includes WGBH, Alaska Native advisors, science and literacy experts, teachers and parents. AKPM will then use these resources as the basis for developing and implementing their own local educational outreach activities targeting rural communities.
“We are honored to serve our rural communities with the rich educational media resources that will be created based on Molly of Denali. Working in partnership with Alaska Native advisors, WGBH, CPB, PBS Kids, and rural educators will be a rich and rewarding experience that we know will lead to inspiring results for children and caregivers in Alaska,” said Ed Ulman, Alaska Public Media CEO & General Manager.
“WGBH is excited to have a diverse group of stations participating in the Molly of Denali Education Working Group,” said Mollie Levin, Senior Project Manager, Early Education, WGBH. “Each station brings expertise about the communities they serve and will be a huge asset to ensure that the materials developed for the project echo the strengths and voices of a variety of populations.”
Molly of Denali features Molly Mabray, a feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Gwich’in/Koyukon/Dena’ina Athabascan girl who takes viewers ages 4 to 8 along with her on adventures and fosters literacy skills along the way. With an emphasis on family and intergenerational relationships, episodes of Molly of Denali model Alaska Native values, such as respecting others, sharing what you have and honoring your elders, while showcasing contemporary aspects of rural life, strong female role models and how technology aids in communication.
Molly of Denali is grounded in a pioneering curriculum focused on informational text, a foundational aspect of literacy education. Informational texts are designed to convey information and can include written words, images, graphics, video and oral language. In every episode, Molly navigates her world and solves problems with the help of books, online resources, field guides, historical documents, maps, tables, posters, photos, Indigenous knowledge from elders, her very own vlog and more.
Featured image-Molly of Denali. (Alaska Public Media)