Six teams of podcast creators have been chosen to participate in a pilot accelerator program run by PBS KIDS, PRX and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). They’ll each produce a pilot episode for their concept that may end up on PBS KIDS’ digital channels or get picked up for a full series order.
Among the six projects is Abi And Radish, a space adventure about a young blind girl who finds new ways to work and play with the help of a shapeshifting translation device. The team behind the concept is led by Grant Holub-Moorman, Mecail Martin and Janet Perez.
Andrés Salgado, Julio Gonzalez and DJ Rolls are creating Ava’s Everyday Adventures with Grandpa, which centers on the relationship between a young bilingual girl (who’s fluent in Spanish and English) and her grandfather, who entertains her with stories focused on building interpersonal skills.
Brooklyn Public Library’s Rachel Tiemann, podcast producer Virginia Marshall and librarian Shenethea Frison are working on Book Adventures, a series that explores what it’s like to work in different careers, from brain engineer to game designer.
Keyshawn the Keymaker from Ed Jenkins and Avery Moore Kloss revolves around a young boy who uses a key-making machine to become an entrepreneur and learn about success.
In partnership with PBS North Carolina, Andrés Salguero, Christina Sanabria, Pierce Freelon and David Huppert will produce Work Bag, which blends pretend play with interviews to teach kids what different jobs look like.
And rounding out the first batch of projects to come out of the accelerator program is What Do You Want to Do? This concept also introduces kids to different careers, and will be produced by Brett Tubbs, Megan Bagala and Luis Moira.
The Ready to Learn Podcast Accelerator will give these 19 creators the training and resources they need to develop a pilot for an educational podcast aimed at kids four to eight. The 16-week program, which runs from June to September, also includes a US$10,000 stipend to help cover production and operational expenses. And participants will have access to PRX’s podcast platform so they can distribute their own content.
The accelerator was announced in February, and is part of a multi-year Ready to Learn grant that PBS and CPB received last October.
The orgs launched the program in order to tap into an increased demand for family-friendly audio content, support learning among kids, and create new diverse content for younger audiences, according to a release.