Daniel Tiger, Katerina Kittycat offer COVID-19 message to children
First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam and two beloved PBS KIDS characters appear in a new series of videos aimed at helping children and families stay healthy and connected as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact communities in Virginia and across the world.
In the videos produced by VPM, Daniel Tiger and Katerina Kittycat of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood join First Lady Northam for fun activities to learn how to practice healthy habits and stay connected with loved ones while social distancing. In an effort to support both physical and mental wellness, together they model the importance of handwashing, managing emotions and sharing feelings with a parent or caregiver. The videos will air on VPM and other public television stations across Virginia, and are available at VPM.org/activities.
“As a mother, pediatric occupational therapist and educator, I understand that this is an especially difficult time for our children, when the familiar routine of their days has been disrupted,” said First Lady Northam. “They are looking to us, the adults in their lives, to help them cope, give them comfort and talk about the novel coronavirus in an age appropriate way.”
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is an award-winning animated program for preschoolers ages 2 to 4. Building on the pioneering PBS series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the show tells engaging stories about the life of a preschooler. Through imagination, creativity and music, Daniel, Katerina and other friends learn the key social skills necessary for school and for life.
“With families together at home, we wanted to provide parents with content to help them talk to their kids about complex topics like social distancing. I am so grateful to Mrs. Northam for hosting Daniel Tiger and Katerina Kittycat at the Executive Mansion to show our youngest citizens what they can do to care for themselves and how to talk with their loved ones,” said Jayme Swain, President of VPM and CEO of the Virginia Foundation for Public Media.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is one of several shows airing during VPM’s Learning Plus educational programming block, created to support learning at home while schools are closed due to the spread of coronavirus. Airing 6 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays on VPM Plus, the lineup includes PBS KIDS programs for early learners, followed by educational programs in the areas of science, social studies, arts and more.
VPM is also offering expanded online content for parents and teachers, including tips on building your child’s social emotional skills, distance learning advice from an early childhood educator and mental health resources for young children, teens and adults.
For VPM’s programming schedule for Learning Plus, tips for parents and caregivers, and activities for children of all ages, visit VPM.org/activities.