Launched in 1996, TOTS TV offered the largest and most comprehensive bilingual preschool Web site on PBS. The central outreach campaign asset, Tots TV Theater, was developed by Outreach Extensions and The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company in association with PBS Internet Publishing Group. Tots TV Theater offered exciting play activities and learning tools to English and Spanish speaking parents so they could help their children learn. The campaign’s goal was to help stations develop creative projects to build awareness of the series and expand families’ utilization of this innovative online site.
The Bolsa Magica (Magic Bag), created by Outreach Extensions, functioned as a station outreach toolbox to prepare stations to conduct local campaigns in support of the television series and Web site. Sample plays and activities were provided as well as suggestions on how to integrate TOTS TV into stations’ Ready To Learn workshops. Using the Bolsa Magica’s resources, stations conducted grant-funded educational outreach activities - 15 in Season One and 10 in Season Two.
On the national level, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), helped to make children’s librarians aware of TOTS TV and the opportunities it presented. The campaign encouraged stations to partner with the ALA in their local markets. Kids Connect @ the Library was the theme for National Library Week, April 13-19, 1997. The campaign created tie-ins to the week’s activities, especially to Log-on @ the Library Day, on Wednesday, April 16. The campaign highlighted how parents without home computers could have access to Tots TV Theater at their local libraries.