WGBH wins Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award for the app, 'Molly of Denali'

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/27/2020


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



PHILADELPHIA – WGBH is the 2020 recipient of the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award for the app, Molly of Denali. The award was announced today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibition held January 24 - 28, in Philadelphia.

The Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award is given to the producer of the most distinguished digital media for an early learning audience produced in the United States during the preceding year. Award and honor Media recipients will receive their awards in Chicago, during the ALA Annual Conference in June.

In Molly of Denali, children join Molly, her dog Suki, and her friends Tooey and Trini in the Alaskan village, Qyah. Children use diagrams, pictures, field guides, and utilize maps, charts and informational text to help them solve problems and accomplish tasks. The app’s games, adventures, and explorations of Native language, art and music engage users while developing foundational skills in informational literacy.

“The committee was especially impressed by the roles Alaskan Native peoples played in every phase of development and production of the story, resulting in an app with ample opportunities for children to engage in cultural exploration. The complementary multi-platform media provide ideas for co-engagement between caregivers and children.” said Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award Committee Chair, Katie Paciga.

Two Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Honor titles were named:

Seek produced by iNaturalist.

Encouraging meaningful joint media engagement in an exceptional way, Seek enables budding naturalists ages 4+ and their caregivers to embrace curiosity and explore the natural world in their communities and beyond. Seek harnesses image recognition technology to identify flora and fauna while including background information on organisms observed.

States of Matter produced by Tinybop, Inc.

States of Matter by Tinybop introduces children to the basic principles of solids, liquids, and gases. The colorful, vibrant and open design encourages children to direct their own learning. Creative play, exploration, and elements of surprise abound. An extensive handbook allows continued engagement with caregivers through discussion and learning.

The members of the 2020 Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award Committee are Chair Katie Paciga, Columbia College Chicago; Maria Paz Alegre, Allen-Stevenson School, New York; Joella Peterson Bagshaw, Provo (Utah) City Library; Maryanne Olson, Queens Library, Queens, N.Y.; Julie Phoenix, St. Louis (Mo.) County Library; Celeste Swanson, The Lane Libraries, Hamilton, Ohio; Brittany Tavernaro, Willowbrook Elementary School, Bentonville, Ark.; Caitlin Tormey, Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library; and Janet Weber, Tigard (Ore.) Public Library.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers, and educational faculty, ALSC members are committed to engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC, visit their website at www.ala.org/alsc.

For more information on the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.