(Victor Valley)– – The impact of the award-winning “Dora the Explorer” children’s television program will be the focus of a panel session at the annual Latino Education Advocacy Days summit at Cal State San Bernardino on March 27.
“For more than a decade, ‘Dora the Explorer’ has made a positive impact on children, especially Latino children,” said Enrique Murillo, the executive director and founder of the LEAD project. “We want to explore and discuss the series’ impact educationally and culturally.”
Now in its fourth year, the annual conference focuses on educational issues affecting Latinos at the national, regional and local levels by bringing together teachers, educators, researchers, scholars, administrators, independent writers and artists, policy and program specialists, students, parents, families, civic leaders, activists and advocates, said Murillo, a professor of education at Cal State San Bernardino.
In every episode of “Dora the Explorer,” Dora and Boots invite the audience to participate in an adventure, where each step of their journey consists of a problem or puzzle that Dora and the audience must think their way through in order to solve the next problem.
Dora is proudly bilingual and uses her knowledge of English and Spanish to communicate with her friends, overcome obstacles and reach her goals. In each episode, Dora teaches a Spanish word or phrase to the viewers and then asks them to use it to solve a problem and forge ahead. The program has received many awards, including a Peabody and an Emmy.
“Before ‘Dora the Explorer,’ there were no positive animated bilingual characters on children’s television. Because of the character’s inclusiveness, Latino youngsters can take pride at having Dora as a lead character and non-Latino children can embrace someone who may look different from them and speaks another language,” Murillo said.
The panel session is titled “Educational Media and the Impact of ‘Dora the Explorer.’”
The speakers from “Dora the Explorer” and Nickelodeon will be:
- · Chris Gifford, co-creator, writer and executive producer of “Dora the Explorer,” who is also the co-creator/executive producer of the spin-off series “Go, Diego, Go!” and the “Dora’s Explorer Girls” hour-long special. Gifford has written many episodes for both series, including 10 specials, and has composed music for several episodes. He created, wrote and produced the two “Dora the Explorer” live shows, as well as “Go, Diego, Go Live! The Great Jaguar Rescue,” all of which have broken box office records.
- · Mariana Diaz-Wionczek, senior director of research and development of “Dora the Explorer,” as well as “Go, Diego, Go!” and “Dora’s Explorer Girls.” Among her many contributions to those series, she coordinated the enrichment and cultural curriculum for the last four seasons of Dora, collaborated in the development of the Diego curriculum and developed the “Dora’s Explorer Girls” curriculum.
- · Carlos E. Cortés, professor emeritus, department of history, University of California, Riverside, creative and cultural adviser for “Dora the Explorer” and “Go, Diego, Go!,” for which he received the 2009 NAACP Image Award. Cortés is general editor of the forthcoming Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia (Sage, 2013) and is a scholar-in-residence with Univision Communications.
For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit http://news.csusb.edu.