The U.S. Department of Education’s Ready to Learn grants keep on rolling out, with Chicago-based PBS station WTTW landing US$32.5 million to develop and co-produce multimedia property UMIGO created by Wildbrain’s Michael Polis.
The new five-year Ready to Learn initiative, which supports the development of educational media for preschoolers and early elementary children, will team the most-watched public television station in the US with DHX Media subsidiary Wildbrain to develop the transmedia property UMIGO (You Make It Go).
Created by W!ldbrain president and Yo Gabba Gabba! exec producer Polis, the property will be developed in collaboration with research and evaluation firm The Michael Cohen Group and will launch as a web-based property that will transition into a TV series and line of consumer products.
At this past MIPCOM, Polis told KidScreen the idea was really driven by his twin sons, one of which in particular asks his dad to help him come up with invention projects pretty much every weekend.
So UMIGO’s online destination will offer child-initiated math-based learning and play opportunities geared at children ages two through eight that will eventually see kids posting their own creations to the site. The project is specifically designed to address the educational needs of at-risk children in the US living in low-income households.