My kids LOVE PBS Kids, in fact, it’s the only TV station they watch. The 24-hour line up of educational shows keeps them entertained while I run around the house cleaning like a mad woman. As a family, we appreciate the cultural diversity offered by shows like Sesame Street, and Let’s Go Luna. And the awesome science and art offered by shows like Pinkalicious and Peterrific and Sid the Science Kid. So, when we heard this past spring that PBS is unveiling a new show called Molly of Denali and that the lead character is an Indigenous Alaskan, we were pretty excited.
Molly of Denali is an adventure show geared towards kids between the ages of 4 and 8. The main character, Molly Mabray is a whip-smart 10-year-old Indigenous Alaskan girl who helps her mum and dad run the Denali Trading Post, which is a local hub for general shopping in the fictional town of Oyah. Molly, along with her adorable dog, Suki, finds adventure with their friends Tooey and Trini.
In a recent press release, PBS explained that the show is intended to help kids build literacy skills through informational text. “In each episode, Molly’s life and adventures are enhanced, illuminated, and broadened by using and creating a variety of informational texts, including books, online resources, field guides, historical archives, indigenous knowledge from elders, maps, charts, posters, photos, and more.”
The most impressive aspect of this new show being the fact that Molly and her family are Indigenous Alaskans. PBS is demonstrating their commitment to inclusion in their programming and by adding one more diverse face and voice to the colourful line up of characters that parents trust is a fabulous step toward more diversity in national media.
“PBS KIDS programming is rooted in education and inclusion, and we are always looking for new ways to highlight the many different communities that make up America,” said Linda Simensky, Vice President, Children’s Programming, PBS. “With Molly of Denali, we’re building on that commitment. We believe this series will provide more kids with the opportunity to see themselves represented in our programming and are excited to engage all kids with the culture and traditions of Alaska Native peoples.”
Since May, PBS Kids has been pumping the airways with teasers for the new show and so far, my kids know the theme song by heart and the names of all the main characters. Depending on where you live, Molly of Denali is set to be released as early as next week. And you happen to live in my house, then get ready because we’re having a pizza party to celebrate the new awesome show.