UMIGO (you make it go) Sets the Bar as the First Transmedia Property of its Kind to Help Kids Build Math Skills
Parliament Funkadelic Legend Bootsy Collins Joins UMIGO Outreach Partners to Announce Free UMIGO Programs for Kids in 10 Markets Across the U.S.
UMIGO is Funded by a Ready to Learn Initiative from the U.S. Department of Education
Los Angeles, CA (October 10, 2012) /PRNewswire/ — DHX Media’s W!LDBRAIN Entertainment, together with outreach partners Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM), WTTW Chicago Public Media and research firm Michael Cohen Group, have introduced UMIGO, the first of its kind transmedia math property, to 10 markets across the U.S. through children’s museums and public television stations. They were joined on October 4 by Parliament funkadelic legend Bootsy Collins and the UMIGO characters at the UMIGO outreach kick-off event held at CMOM. At the event, New York public school children and home schooled children participated in transmedia UMIGO workshops led by DHX Media’s W!LDBRAIN Entertainment, producers of UMIGO, and CMOM. Collins lends his voice to original UMIGO music and appears as an animated character in the music video “Rocket Box.” Together, CMOM and WTTW will continue to expand the program into additional markets over the next three years.
UMIGO is the first-of-its-kind transmedia property that is designed to engage today’s generation of children between the ages of six and eight, in the exploration of mathematical concepts. UMIGO inspires kids to invent, build and create through collaborative, interactive play. To date, the property consists of animated music videos, original music and outreach materials such as a “Stack Attack” game that teaches math principles. These materials are currently available through outreach programs. DHX Media’s W!LDBRAIN Entertainment will be releasing a series of apps, games and an online interactive community featuring characters Bit, the magical box who has the tools needed to build; Dizzy, the blue bundle of energy who provides inspiration; Bean, who helps learners create whatever they can dream and the UMIs, who help learners understand weight, measurement and volume.
“UMIGO has dual goals- to educate while it entertains. We know through extensive research that our tested curriculum-based UMIGO content is meeting both of these goals by engaging children in fun and interactive ways where they live, learn and play,” said Michael Polis, creator of UMIGO. Polis, who shared with the group at the outreach event that the seed of the idea for UMIGO came from his three children, is also executive producer of the hit television series Yo Gabba Gabba! and serves as President of W!LDBRAIN Entertainment and Executive Vice President of Branded Entertainment and Consumer Products, DHX Media.
This past summer, CMOM actively engaged in a UMIGO outreach pilot program with over 2000 families who interacted with UMIGO transmedia materials. Findings confirmed a strong level of engagement for families with children of multiple ages.
UMIGO outreach programs seek to foster greater student academic achievement for elementary school-aged children by working with organizations that target low-income children to promote school readiness. The UMIGO outreach program will begin immediately in 10 markets across the U.S., including New York City (Children’s Museum of Manhattan); Bangor, ME (Maine Discovery Museum); Bozeman, MT (Bozeman Children’s Museum); Oak Ridge, TN (Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge); New Orleans, LA (Louisiana Children’s Museum); San Jose, CA (Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose); Chicago, IL (WTTW); Tacoma, WA (KBTC Public Television); Johnston, IA (Iowa Public Television); Carbondale, IL (WSIU).
The UMIGO outreach programs are free of charge.
UMIGO was created by Michael Polis and is developed by W!LDBRAIN Entertainment, a DHX Media Ltd. Company, in partnership with WTTW Chicago and the Michael Cohen Group, LLC. UMIGO is funded by the Ready to Learn initiative awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. Visit: www.UMIGO.com.