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Behind the Scenes: How Community Partnerships Inform Children’s Programming

December 7, 2022

Kid at school coloring

SAINT PAUL, MN (Decmeber 7, 2022) — Twin Cities PBS has a national reputation for developing high quality children’s programming, educational resources, and community outreach. This reputation comes from our commitment to building programming and resources in partnership with educators and communities. Our newest program in development—Mashopolis (working title)—is no different. The team behind that development effort is hard at work consulting with educators and caregivers to ensure that the new content provides the educational support kids need.  

This team is housed in TPT’s Education Department, which is committed to driving lifelong learning with innovative media and media-enriched resources and programming. Their work is funded by the US Department of Education’s Ready to Learn grant. The team develops educational television, multimedia content, and community outreach targeted at early elementary school children and their families to promote early learning and skill development.  

Mashopolis (wt) will help children ages 5-8 develop critical executive functioning skills, and self-regulation strategies to support these skills, to lay the groundwork for future success in school and the workplace, all while expanding children’s career exposure. It will include 80 11-minute animated television episodes in English and Spanish, interactive games and apps, and a website where children can explore visions of their future selves.   

In summer and fall of 2021, the RTL team conducted a national needs assessment with informal educators and caregivers of 5- to 8-year-olds to inform the programs, resources, and materials. The assessment allowed the team to hear firsthand what the topics covered by Mashopolis (wt) meant to educators and caregivers, how they already approach these topics with young children, and what kind of support they want from TPT to help kids develop these skills. Studies like this allow TPT to ground our content, programming, and outreach in what matters most to the community.  

Those interested in reading more about what was learned from the assessment can read the article, “How Out-of-School Educators are Supporting Children’s Executive Functioning Skills After the COVID-19 Pandemic,” published by our research collaborators, Rockman et al Cooperative, on 


About Twin Cities PBS (TPT)

Twin Cities PBS (TPT)’s mission is to enrich lives and strengthen our community through the power of media. Established 65 years ago, TPT now operates as a public service media organization that harnesses a range of media tools to serve citizens in new ways — with multiple broadcast channels, digital channels, streaming, online teaching resources, educational outreach and community engagement activities reaching more than 2 million people each month. Over its history, TPT has been recognized for its innovation and creativity with numerous awards, including Peabody awards and national and regional Emmy® Awards. Find more information at 

© Twin Cities Public Television - 2022. All rights reserved.


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