TVOKids  ignites children’s imaginations through storytelling with the launch of the new interstitial series Story Explorers and companion website. This new multiplatform series includes 26 two-minute episodes featuring short stories created, designed and told by Ontario kids. From flying machines to hidden treasure, the episodes inspire kids to go online to the Story Explorers  companion website  to create their own tales while learning how to improve their reading and writing skills. Produced by Story Planet Media, Story Explorers airs on TVO in TVOKids’ afterschool block The Space Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:55 pm ET.
“In this interactive multiplatform series, TVO encourages kids to let their imaginations soar through storytelling while providing them with the tools they need to learn about story structure,” says Patricia Ellingson, TVO’s Creative Head of Children’s and Parents’ Media. “Story Explorers demonstrates TVO’s commitment to using digital media to improve kids’ literacy skills so that they can be successful in school and in life.”
Each episode of the Story Explorers series is a creative and entertaining story written and told exclusively by kids. The stories are narrated by the child author and animated using pictures created by illustrator Kean Soo as well as the kids’ own drawings. Soo is the acclaimed author and illustrator of the Jellaby series.
Story Explorers also offers an integrated digital educational experience. After being inspired by the episodes, the young viewer can go to the Story Explorers website  to create their own story. Kids can build a story online by customizing a character and then enter the story world by creating scenes that bring it to life, including the setting, characters and challenges. Advanced users have the option to further open up the scenes and re-write the scripts while early-learners can simply select from a drop down menu of options. Once created, kids can play back, edit and share their story.
The series was inspired by the literacy workshops at Story Planet, a non-profit organization based in Toronto. Story Planet’s workshops support children and youth in building important literacy skills. Parents can find more information about Story Explorers at TVOParents.com .