America Online to Host First Ever Online Chat With Sesame Street’s Elmo On Tuesday, February 27
DULLES, Va.– Everyone’s favorite fuzzy red monster, Elmo, will be America Online’s (AOL) special guest in his first-ever live, online chat on Tuesday, February 27 at 4 p.m (ET).
During this 30-minute chat, Elmo and his Sesame Street friend Maria will answer questions submitted online from children across the country, as well as interact with a live audience of children that will be gathered for the event. This very special chat will serve as the kick-off for a brand new content area on AOL called “Kids Only Jr.” (Keyword: KO Jr). This area, which is part of AOL’s popular Kids Only Channel, is designed for children 2-5 to play and learn along with their parents and/or older siblings.
AOL members can access the chat at AOL Keyword: Live. The chat will also be Webcast on AOL.COM. For those who miss the live event, both the Webcast and the transcript from the chat will remain available on AOL at Keyword: Live.
“We’re proud to host Elmo’s first-ever online chat, and we know our young members and their parents will be excited to have this opportunity to interact live with one of television’s biggest stars,” said Lewis Dvorkin, Vice President of Content Strategy, America Online, Inc. “This is a great event to kick-off Kids Only Jr., AOL’s brand new area for young children, where 2-5 year olds and their parents or siblings can interact with favorite characters online to make learning fun.”
Paul Marcum, Vice President and General Manager, Sesamestreet.com, added, “Sesame Workshop is delighted to team with America Online to allow children across the country to interact live with Elmo online. We are pleased to help launch AOL’s ‘Kids Only Jr.’ area with this special chat. Like AOL, we believe that the Internet can be a great learning tool for children, even at a very young age.”
The launch of Kids Only Jr. reflects the trend of parents introducing their children to computers and the Internet at very young ages. According to research conducted by Digital Marketing Services (DMS), a leading provider of online research and a wholly-owned subsidiary of America Online, Inc., approximately 55% of adults feel that the Internet holds educational value for preschool children. Additionally according to a national survey included in a recently released report by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, children ages 2-5 average 27 minutes per day at the computer.(a)
AOL’s Kids Only Jr. offers a fun and safe educational environment where children can play and learn with their favorite characters. This new area brings together content from some of the most highly respected children’s media companies through partnerships with Sesame Workshop, PBS Kids, Nick Jr. and KiddoNet Jr. Kids Only Jr. offers an A-Z character index on the main page that makes it easy for children to find and play along with such beloved characters as Elmo, Blue, Barney, Arthur and many more. The new area offers a wide array of engaging age-appropriate activities for children, including letter and number games, printable coloring pages, storytelling and musical sing-alongs. By participating in Kids Only Jr.’s activities, games and puzzles, children can develop skills such as number sense, letter recognition, color identification and more.
Kids Only Jr. also features a “For Parents” area, accessible via the Kids Only Jr. main page, with descriptions of popular children’s television programs, information on preschoolers and technology from Sesame Workshop, an index of all the activities accessible through Kids Only Jr. and a link to AOL’s Parenting Channel.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop, a not-for-profit educational organization, creates innovative and engaging content to help all children reach their highest potential. For more than 30 years, the Workshop has been a global pioneer in educating and entertaining children through multiple media. The organization grounds its work in research to understand how media helps children learn, develop and grow. Best known as the creators of Sesame Street and Dragon Tales airing on PBS, the Workshop continues to break new ground with Noggin, the only 24-hour kids’ thinking channel. Find the Workshop online at www.sesameworkshop.org.
About America Online, Inc.
America Online, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc. Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world’s leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.
* (a)Adapted with the permission the David and Lucile Packard Foundation