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Educational Outreach Elements

As a long-running series, Arthur exemplifies the number of ways to build on and expand educational outreach over multiple seasons. Each season of Arthur has brought unique opportunities to provide innovative resources, expand to new audiences, cement relationships with past partners, and build new alliances. Arthur's outreach campaigns have used the familiarity and appeal of the program to address a variety of themes and topics, such as modeling how parents can talk to kids about issues like the ups and downs of friendship, school concerns, and sibling rivalry; helping teachers address accessibility, inclusion, and diversity issues; and supporting librarians in encouraging a love of reading in children. Below is a list of Arthur's rich and varied themes, audiences, and outreach elements.


Arthur Story Writing.
View cover of teachers' guide

Season 1, Fall '96

  • Audiences: Second-grade teachers
  • Themes: Writing
  • Outreach Elements:
    • Story Writing with Arthur: A Teacher's Guide with Reading Comprehension and Writing Activities -- distributed 66,280
    • Tune-in poster -- distributed 70,000
    • Pre-broadcast brochure -- distributed 257,000

Season 2, Fall '97

  • Audiences: Preschool teachers, PBS stations, libraries, museums, schools, and community organizations
  • Themes: Preschool social development and emergent literacy, hosting Arthur events
  • Outreach Elements:
    • Play and Learn with Arthur: 100 Creative Activities for Children, Ages 3-6, Volume 1 -- distributed 40,000
    • Create Your Own Amazing Arthur Event -- distributed 10,000
    • Tune-in poster -- distributed 35,300

Arthur Learn To Read.
View cover of teachers' guide

Season 3, Fall '98

  • Audiences: First-grade and preschool teachers
  • Themes: Early literacy and preschool social development
  • Outreach Elements:
    • Learn to Read with Arthur: A Teacher's Guide for Beginning Readers -- distributed 105,200
    • Play and Learn with Arthur: Creative Activities for Children, Ages 3-6, Volume 2 -- distributed 65,000
    • Pre-broadcast brochure -- distributed 200,000

Arthur's Library Adventure.
View cover of activity guide

Season 4, Fall '99

  • Audiences: Librarians
  • Themes: Attracting nontraditional audiences to libraries
  • Outreach Elements:
    • Arthur's Library Adventure: An Activity Guide for Librarians -- distributed 23,000
    • Library poster -- distributed 43,500

Arthur: The Ups and Downs of Friendship.
View cover of activity booklet

Season 5, Fall '00

  • Audiences: Parents
  • Themes: Parenting
  • Outreach Elements:
    • Three family activity booklets (themes: sibling rivalry, friendship, school) -- distributed 225,000 (60,000 each in English, 15,000 each in Spanish)

Arthur Hooray for Health
View cover of brochure

Season 6, Fall '01

  • Audiences: Parents, school nurses, after-school providers, and kindergarten teachers
  • Themes: Technology and health
  • Outreach Elements:
    • Welcome to the Web family activity booklet -- distributed 56,460 (46,355 in English, 10,105 in Spanish)
    • Hooray for Health!: A Health Curriculum for Children -- distributed 99,655
    • Hooray for Health! brochure -- distributed 60,000
    • All About Asthma booklet -- distributed 42,000 (EPA will print another 100,000 to 200,000 in the upcoming year)
    • Healthy Habits, Healthy Kids booklet -- distributed 599,000 (455,000 English, 144,000 Spanish; produced for the WIC program; funded by Libby's® Juicy Juice®)

Arthur's Communication Adventure.
View cover of Arthur's Communication Adventure

Season 7, Fall '02

  • Audiences: Parents and first- and second-grade teachers
  • Themes: Post-September 11 concerns; communication, access, and inclusion
  • Outreach Elements:
    • Helping Our Children Feel Safe family activity booklet -- distributed 41,750 (33,750 in English, 8,000 in Spanish)
    • Arthur's Communication Adventure: Exploring Inclusion and Accessibility -- distributed 50,000

Arthur's World Adventure
View guide cover

Season 8, Fall '03

  • Audiences: First- and second-grade teachers
  • Themes: World neighborhood and diversity
  • Outreach Elements:
    • Arthur's World Neighborhood: Building Global and Cultural Awareness -- distributed 50,500

Web/Interactive -- The Arthur Web site is designed to support the goals and themes of the series and educational outreach. This is achieved through theme-specific "big-ticket" interactive features, along with the season's teacher and/or parent resources. In addition, theme-based games and other features launch throughout the year.

For kids, the site currently boasts close to 40 interactive games and many printable activities, as well as full site areas for 26 Arthur characters. For educators, parents, and other adults, the site offers a host of Arthur guides and more than 160 offline activities for home and classroom use.

In 2003, the Arthur Web site averaged 2.5 million visits per month. The site is updated year-round to keep kids and adults coming back.

Person-to-Person Activities

Arthur's local outreach has been a launchpad for its national outreach campaigns; that is, a way to test outreach ideas and resources before they are presented to PBS stations nationwide, other partners, and target audiences. Each season, the person-to-person implementation of the outreach initiatives varies depending on theme and target audience. Ready To Learn coordinators are an essential part of national implementation initiatives. The outreach staff also regularly brings Arthur to national conferences, offering workshops and distributing materials. These conferences include the International Reading Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the American Library Association (ALA).

The reach is extended through national partnerships and models sites. For example, the EPA has distributed Arthur asthma materials through its extensive national networks. For the library initiative in Season 4, the outreach staff chose 10 model library sites to pilot strategies to bring nontraditional audiences into libraries. Results of the project were disseminated to all public libraries through the partnership with the ALA.

Next > Outcomes

In this section:

        Goals & Audience

>      Educational
        Outreach Elements


        Challenges &
        Lessons Learned


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    Sesame Street


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