Diversity in Children's Television Shows

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Krys Robinson January 29, 2013 Diversity in US Culture Children’s television programs today, I feel are doing a good job of introducing cultural diversity to children who are growing up in culturally isolated areas or have little interaction with children of other ethnicities. Many children these days are home schooled or come from less diverse rural areas. Television shows and cartoons can bring experiences right to a child and through story telling can teach tolerance, acceptance and the diversity of today’s world. I focused mainly on early childhood geared cartoons, having watched quite a few with my own children over the years. There are many cartoons where the main character uses another language combined with English to teach second language skills. These shows are set in locations that fit the characters ethnic background and reference accurate cultural customs. I remember Dora the Explorer from when my children were young. A Latina girl, who not only introduces preschool childhood to Spanish, but the show often makes references to Latino culture and customs, such as a Latina girl’s quinceanera. Dora introduced her cousin in a show and he received his own carton in Go, Diego, Go. Diego is also bilingual and travels the world rescuing animals with his older computer smart sister. They teach lessons about the animals and the places they are from. In Ni Hao, Kai-Lan , a bicultural multi-generational American-Chinese family teaches Chinese culture and values, as well as Mandarin Chinese language. The episodes mainly seem to take place in China, however the family in said to live in Chinatown in California, making references to both sides of the family’s cultures. In the cartoon Pokémon, Ash and his friends travel throughout Japan specifically referencing customs, landmarks, and festivals of the Japanese people. I’ll admit I have been watching this show with

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