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Dia de los ninos
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Between the Lions logo

Fact Sheet

Between the Lions family photoWhat is Between the Lions?
Between the Lions is an award-winning PBS television series for 4- to 7-year olds that helps children learn to read. The series is named for a family of lions--Theo, Cleo, Lionel, and Leona--who run a library like no other. The doors “between the lions” swing open to reveal a magical place where book characters come to life, vowels sing, and knights joust to create words. Each episode is designed to build early literacy skills while playfully presenting the many joys of reading. Approximately 5 million viewers enjoy Between the Lions each week.

Can a television show help teach children to read?
Yes! Between the Lions picks up where Sesame Street leaves off, using television as a tool to support specific early literacy skills. Designed by reading experts, the series:
· models reading aloud, building comprehension
· introduces new vocabulary in context
· highlights words, syllables, and letters as they are spoken, supporting fluency and word recognition
· animates vowels and their sounds
· fosters phonological awareness using rhymes and songs

Ongoing research confirms that when young children view the series on a regular basis, they show significant gains in reading skills and motivation.  (See for research summaries.)

Leona on stack of booksStart a Between the Lions Read Aloud Book Club!
Between the Lions offers free electronic materials to run a book club for 4- to 5-year olds and 6- to 7-year olds, respectively. Along with culturally diverse book suggestions, materials include session outlines, recommended discussion questions and activity ideas, as well as links to PBS Kids programs or Web sites that complement the featured book/theme.  The materials will help you lead up to six hour-long book club meetings per age group. Each session outline and meeting stands alone; you don’t need to have the same kids at each meeting.

Pounce on the Web site at
An extensive Web site offers songs to sing along with, stories to print out and read, interactive games, recommended books, and lots more. Adults can find information on the show’s curriculum along with helpful literacy tips and printable activities.

How to buy videos and DVDs
Between the Lions episodes are available on videocassette and DVD from WGBH Boston Video at 800-949-8670. Videos and DVDs are also available through all major distributors.

For more information about the series and book club, contact Gay Mohrbacher, WGBH Outreach Coordinator

List of Episodes   List of Recommended Books
Information about the WGBH television series "Between the Lions."