Emprezz and Stephen Golding’s Ackee Walk Animates Digital Natives Saturday Morning

“There aren’t many Jamaican or African-centred shows on television that speak to our culture. Most of our children are currently watching American shows, so we are trying to fill the gap via this media”

Emprezz Golding commenting on her reason for starting the Ackee Walk Program

Emprezz Golding is at it again.

Apparently motivating Inner-city Entrepreneurs (The Jamaica Observer, 2015, November 2) and young people on her show Talk Up Youth (The Jamaica Observer, 2016, May 23) wasn’t enough to keep her busy, it seems!

This time she and her husband Stephen Golding, with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) have started an Educational Program (Hill, 2016, June 12) called Ackee Walk.

MICO Wars - Emprezz and Stephen Golding's Ackee Walk Animates Digital Natives Saturday Morning - 22-06-2016 LHDEER (1)

A family-oriented puppet and animation show geared towards pre-schoolers and 6-y-o, Ackee Walk, it is the program of its kind in the Caribbean. Ackee Walk is a community oriented program that promotes authentic Jamaican culture while teaching children acceptable values and attitudes and their rights and responsibilities.

Airing on Television Jamaica on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., the husband and wife team have filed a gap in local Television production with 26 six-minute episodes that are all the rage with the children. You can judge for yourself from this Interview with some satisfied older kids.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fackeewalkpuppets%2Fvideos%2F464907680373278%2F&show_text=0&width=400

After Travelling to Brazil and spotting handmade black puppets and purchasing and using them to teacher her son Kush reading, she realized that they could create a puppet show for pre-school Jamaican children.

The characters, developed by her husband Stephen Golding, are an authentic representation of Jamaican life in a close-knit community, as pointed out by Emprezz Golding: “Stephen came up with a lot of the characters. We went through many names for the series, but decided on Ackee Walk because it truly speaks about Jamaica. Every aspect of Ackee Walk, from the characters to the community, is a reflection of Jamaica at its best. It’s most peaceful and functionally productive”.

Emprezz and Stephen Golding’s Ackee Walk – Interactive Children’s programming for Pre-School Digital Natives

But what makes the program stand out for me, aside from being the first program to feature live action puppeteering and animation, is the use of Social Media.

The UNICEF funded show feature a website with downloadable child-rights education toolkits that school administrators, teacher and parents can download. It also has an interactive survey that is used to assist in the developement of future episodes.

MICO Wars - Emprezz and Stephen Golding's Ackee Walk Animates Digital Natives Saturday Morning - 22-06-2016 LHDEER (2)

Put another way, the Ackee Walk Show changes based on your survey responses, making the program the first show to have an interactive component where viewers decided the focus of future episodes.

Always on the hunt for investors, it’s hoped that they’ll make merchandise to sell to children and possibly even feature an interactive app for out tech-centric pre-schoolers, many of whom are already Digital Natives. Even having children randomly appear on the program to talk to the puppets may be in the works.

After all, who wouldn’t want to be a part of the Ackee Walk Community?

Here’s the link:

Ackee Walk Website

Ackee Walk Twitter Feed: @ackee_walk

Ackee Walk Facebook Page

References:

  1. The Jamaica Observer. (2015, November 2). Poor self perception hurting entrepreneurial culture. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Poor-self-perception-hurting-entrepreneurial-culture_19236571
  2. The Jamaica Observer. (2016, May 23). ‘Youthman, don’t let negative influences overpower you’. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-Youthman–don-t-let-negative-influences-overpower-you–_61735
  3. Hill, K. (2016, June 12). Ackee Walk – Positive Values For Jamaican Children. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/art-leisure/20160612/ackee-walk-positive-values-jamaican-children

 

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