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Sesame’s global Panwapa community goes live

A global initiative from Sesame Workshop and the Merrill Lynch Foundation that Kidscreen Daily told the world about in February, launched late last week.
October 15, 2007

A global initiative from Sesame Workshop and the Merrill Lynch Foundation that Kidscreen Daily told the world about in February, launched late last week. Aimed at fostering global citizenship and community participation in the four to seven set, and working in five languages, Panwapa is powered by an interactive website (www.panwapa.com) where kids can enter the community to meet new Muppet characters Athena the Owl and Azibo the Monster, travel the world and make friends from other countries.

Free downloads of Panwapa the series are now available on iTunes, and it is also slated to bow on PBS Kids Sprout VOD service in January. To further bolster awareness for the property, 200,000 introductory kits, including a DVD and printed materials, are being distributed to caregivers in the US, the UK, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Jordan and Mexico.

A team of international cultural experts, early childhood researchers, educators and media specialists from nine countries and organizations such as Oxfam, UNICEF and the World Bank hatched the idea for Panwapa in 2005, and multi-national teams from the Merrill Lynch Foundation and Sesame Workshop further developed and produced the initiative.

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at garyrusak@gmail.com

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