vocabulary

A childhood discovery and a journey of 1500 pages

 

CEO Message

 

A childhood discovery and a journey of 1500 pages

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEOI was a barefoot third-grader, playing with hula hoops in a friend’s garage in Āina Haina, when I spied a stack of old comic books.

 

That was my unlikely introduction to Les Misérables. The foreign words were on the cover of a Classics Illustrated comic book, where a man carrying another was running from pursuers in a rat-infested tunnel.

 

My playmate and I dropped our hoops and hunched over that top book in the stack. The drawings were dramatic – and even more striking were the words, painting the story of a man who was both hero and crook, good and bad, trusted and untrustworthy, long-suffering and impatient, a man who hated and loved.

Comic book cover art of Victor Hugo's Les MisérablesWe’d found a magic comic book that was not the usual kid stuff of bright, positive absolutes.

 

Even though the story was set far away and long ago, it resonated deeply. It spoke to the confusing contradictions I’d already experienced in my young life – a father who promised to be home at night but rarely was; an admired teen scholar/ athlete who kicked his dog when he thought no one could see; and the much-feared school bully who was understanding and even gracious when I accidentally hit him in the face with a kickball.

 

A couple of years later, during summer vacation, I wanted more than the comic book version of Les Misérables. As it turned out (just my luck!), the hardcover novel is one of the longest books in European literature, nearly 1,500 pages. On top of that, I needed to have a second book handy, the dictionary. I still remember the first of many words I looked up: morass.

 

Reading the novel sometimes felt like slogging through a morass. Author Victor Hugo would digress into long, detailed histories – of the Battle of Waterloo, the construction of Paris sewers and more. Those parts, I skimmed.

 

However, I was forever held by the main story line which famously starts with Jean Valjean sent to prison for stealing bread to feed his widowed sister’s seven children. The story enveloped me in a world in which I was often trying to decipher the boundaries of right and wrong, good and evil, war and peace, love and hate.

 

Later, when I covered poverty as a journalist, I would return to Les Misérables to re-read this stinging quote: “There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.”

 

Since childhood, I’ve always been eager to see new adaptations of Les Misérables, on stage and screen. I hope you’ll join me in spirit, on the community sofa, to view this latest PBS television presentation.

 

Les Misérables on MASTERPIECE

Sundays at 8:00 pm
April 14 – May 19, 2019
on PBS Hawaiʻi

 

Learn more about Les Misérables
in our program guide cover story by
Jody Shiroma, VP of Communications, PBS Hawaiʻi.

 

Aloha Nui,

Leslie signature


 

 

 

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I
Literacy in Hawaiʻi

 

We know literacy as reading and writing, but it has become so much more. Literacy enables people, especially our keiki, to understand concepts and ideas and express opinions. Importantly, literacy allows them to grasp knowledge needed to meet the demands of today’s rapidly changing world. On the next INSIGHTS, we’ll discuss literacy in Hawaiʻi and look at how we are preparing children to not only participate in society but how to lead and solve problems. Join the conversation by phoning in, or leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Phone Lines:
462-5000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.

 

Email:
insights@pbshawaii.org

 

Facebook:
Visit the PBS Hawai‘i Facebook page.

 

Twitter:
Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights

 

 

 

The National Geographic Bee

The National Geographic Bee

 

The annual National Geographic Bee returns for the 29th consecutive year. The 2017 Bee features fourth-to-eighth-graders vying for the crown and the top prize of a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.

 

The National Geographic Bee 2016

THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC : Bee 2016

 

The annual National Geographic Bee returns for the 28th consecutive year, with American humorist and journalist Mo Rocca serving as host and moderator. Taped in May, the competition features fourth- to eighth-graders vying for the Bee crown and the top prize of a $50,000 college scholarship. The finalists, all winners of their state-level geographic bees, have triumphed over a field of nearly 4 million students to earn a place in the national championships. They represent the 50 states, District of Columbia, Atlantic Territories, Pacific Territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand

 

From his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway, this program captures the legacy of the man some call America’s Shakespeare. Film and theater luminaries such as James Earl Jones, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne, Charles Dutton and others share their stories of the career and experience of bringing Wilson’s rich theatrical voice to the stage. This film tells of his journey to the Great White Way, the triumphs and struggles along the path to such seminal works as Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson and others before his death in 2005.

 

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

 

Award-winning host Fred Rogers visits neighbors and places to help children learn about the world around them. He talks with young viewers about their feelings as they deal with the challenges and joys of growing and learning. These themes are reinforced in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, where puppets and humans work together to solve problems and help each other.

 

For children 2 to 5 years old.

 

Visit the Web site: http://pbskids.org/rogers

 

Series Goals

  • Help children feel good about themselves
  • Celebrate creativity and individuality
  • Develop appreciation of others
  • Help children learn self-control and how to express their feelings

 

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood gives children the tools to learn. It helps them have a healthy curiosity about their world, to look and listen carefully, to develop self-control, to deal with their feelings, to get along with others, to be imaginative and creative, and to feel good about who they are and what they can become.

 

Helping Kids Prepare for School
The series encourages children to hone their social and problem-solving skills. These skills, along with literacy skills modeled by the characters, help prepare young children for school and for life.

 

When to Watch
Find out when MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD airs in your area, and also get episode descriptions and related activities!

 

 

WordWorld

 

WORDWORLD is the first preschool series where words are truly the stars of the show! Young children are introduced to a colorful, vibrant world of words with the lovable, legible WordFriends — animals whose bodies are made up of the letters that spell the word they are. Sheep is painfully shy but loves to pretend. Frog is the cautious brainiac and word “expert.” Duck is still learning his letters — and social skills — and often needs Frog to help him out of trouble.

 

For ages 3-5.

 

Visit the Web site: http://pbskids.org/wordworld

 

Series Goals

  • To fascinate children with words and to inspire a love of words and reading.
  • Empower children as early readers by making the important connections between letters, sounds, words and meaning that are necessary for reading.

 

In each episode, the WordFriends go on comic adventures and face challenges that can only be resolved with the right word. That word is built letter by letter, sound by sound, during the funky “Build a Word” song at the end of every episode. Once the word is built, it “morphs”–comes alive–into the thing it is!

 

Helping Kids Prepare for School
WordWorld is designed to introduce, support and foster emergent literacy skills in children ages three to five. The curriculum draws from four skill sets critical for young children’s emergent literacy: print awareness, phonological sensitivity and letter knowledge, comprehension (including vocabulary development) and socio-emotional skills.

 

When to Watch
Find out when WORDWORLD airs in your area, and also get episode descriptions and related activities!

 

 

 

Martha Speaks

 

Martha Speaks is an animated series on PBS KIDS. Aimed at viewers between the ages of four and seven, Martha’s educational goal is to teach kids new words.

 

Based on the children’s book series by Susan Meddaugh and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the series stars Martha, a beloved family dog. She is accidentally fed alphabet soup — this gives her the power of speech and the chance to speak her mind to anyone that will listen.

 

With two stories in each episode, kids will get to know Martha as an outspoken, honest, smart, confident dog who loves to eat (and talk!). They will also meet the rest of Martha’s family and friends. Ten-year-old Helen is Martha’s best friend. Martha encourages the shy, artistic Helen to be more outgoing and brave. Helen acts as the voice of reason for Martha. It’s a relationship any dog, or pet-lover, can appreciate.

 

The series is supported by an educational outreach campaign that includes a cross-age reading buddy program. The show is Closed Captioned and described for the visually impaired. It’s produced by WGBH Boston and Vancouver’s Studio B Productions.

 

Learning Goals

The goal of Martha Speaks is to increase oral vocabulary, the words we use when we talk. The shows are not trying to teach kids how to read. They are designed to help kids understand what words mean when they hear them; words likeretrievesprout, and crave. Vocabulary is one thing that predicts if children will be good readers. Once they are in school and they see these words, children will need to know what they mean. If children have heard the words before, that familiarity will help them as they learn to read. Martha Speaks is designed to teach up to 20 words in each show. And how better to get kids excited about learning and trying out new words than with a talking dog, who just can’t stop talking?!

 

 

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