In this issue, we go in-depth on Drawn In, a Nine PBS initiative designed to spark a love of learning, help close the literacy gap, and authentically celebrate kids who do not get to see themselves enough in today’s media.
Drawn In is a comic-based adventure following four kids from the fictitious Midland City (modeled after a Midwest city, like St. Louis). Tyler, Nevaeh, Jadyn, and Grace share a love for comics, which places them frequently in Lady M’s Imaginarium, a comic shop, with their beloved mentor.
Like all shows created for PBS audiences, Drawn In will educate while it entertains. Every aspect of this initiative is rooted in a literacy curriculum developed to improve grade-level fluency among early elementary school children. This curriculum is the foundation for the Drawn In comics, animated shorts, website, and dozens of early learning events serving prioritized Black and brown families through our community partners.
What makes Drawn In local?
Drawn In has been created from deep partnerships in our local community to ensure it celebrates the experiences of Black and brown families living in our region. With a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) leading cast of characters, Drawn In authentically showcases kids who do not get to see themselves nearly enough in today’s media.
The ambitious initiative is produced in partnership with St. Louis-based Lion Forge Animation, which has received international attention as one of only two Black-owned animation studios globally. They were honored with a 2020 Academy Award for the animated short film, Hair Love.
Among the values and goals that Nine PBS and Lion Forge share is a commitment to a uniquely local initiative that authentically represents St. Louis. Most of the creative team, producers, actors, and specialists on Nine PBS’s Community Advisory Board are BIPOC and call St. Louis home.
Local and national funding for Drawn In is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. Support for the associated community engagement activities comes from the Steward Family Foundation, with additional support from Joseph and Sandra Lehrer in memory of Ted Koplar.
Also in this issue, summer adventure-filled series for the whole family, including summer fun resources for parents and caregivers; music specials; a full schedule of programs; and much more.
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