Healthy eating and food education are essential to preparing the very youngest members of our community for school and life. As children head back to school, Pilot Light and WTTW announce the launch of FOOD THOUGHTS, a new animated seven-part series of one-minute videos that will debut on WTTW on Monday, October 11 across the Chicago region. New episodes will air throughout the WTTW Kids lineup each week through the week of November 15. FOOD THOUGHTS will also be available for streaming at wttw.com/foodthoughts.
Hosted by Pilot Light’s own puppy chef, “Puprika,” each FOOD THOUGHTS episode is based on one of Pilot Light’s Food Education Standards, which were published in 2018 to define holistic food education for classroom teachers. The Standards illustrate how food connects us and has an impact on our culture, relationships, history, and environment – a concept that is deeply ingrained in Pilot Light’s mission. In each episode, Puprika joins a diverse group of children and families to visit their homes, gardens, farms, and schools, where they explore the different ways in which food touches our lives. With catchy and entertaining dialogue, Puprika explains to kids and families where their food comes from and how to make healthier choices.
FOOD THOUGHTS is an extension of Pilot Light’s work in school classrooms where Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers deliver lessons that integrate food as a lens for traditional subjects, like math, reading, history, and science. Since 2010, the program has grown to engage more than 15,000 students in Chicago and nationwide. Through this project, Pilot Light will work directly with Chicago pre-kindergarten teachers involved in its Food Education Fellowship program to promote FOOD THOUGHTS on WTTW – bridging the digital divide – and to connect directly with parents and caregivers to foster dialogue at home around healthy food.
Katharine Colvin, Pilot Light’s Vice President of Education, said: “Pilot Light’s partnership with Cooking Matters and WTTW allows us to bring food education into family’s homes in a way we’ve never done before. Through FOOD THOUGHTS, children and their families will have access to holistic food education in an exciting, easy to understand way.”
“We are excited to launch FOOD THOUGHTS in partnership with Pilot Light to provide the very youngest members of our community with information and resources around healthy food and healthy living,” said Lisa Tipton, Head of Programming at WTTW. “As a public media organization, our purpose is to enrich lives, engage communities, and inspire exploration and this new initiative delivers on that purpose.”
Funding for FOOD THOUGHTS is provided by Cooking Matters, a campaign of Share Our Strength.
“We are delighted to partner with Pilot Light and WTTW to launch the FOOD THOUGHTS video series. As a campaign we are educating families with skills to shop for, prepare, and eat healthy food at home and the FOOD THOUGHTS video series does just that. This partnership was a perfect collaboration to create fun and engaging food education content while also highlighting the Pilot Light Food Education Standards,” said Megan Bradley, the National Senior Manager of Food Skills Education for Cooking Matters. “This network of diverse stakeholders allows Cooking Matters, Pilot Light, and WTTW to elevate the importance of food education while creating a win-win-win for our various supporters.”
FOOD THOUGHTS is written and produced by Electric Black Experience (EBE), a New York City-based production company that focuses on the screen stage and music arena. William Electric Black is the tour de force behind the award-winning company that continues to produce innovative educational programming for children and adults to promote healthy living and bring awareness to major social issues. Scripts were written with direction from Pilot Light staff including Katharine Colvin, Kate Noggle, Alexandra DeSorbo-Quinn, and Pilot Light founder Chef Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe.
# # #
About Pilot Light
Pilot Light is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports students as they learn and advocate for informed choices by bridging the lessons, they learn in their classrooms to the foods on their lunch trays at home and in their communities. Learn more about Pilot Light at PilotLightChefs.org.
WTTW is the PBS member station in Chicago, committed to creating and presenting unique media content across distinct television and digital channels – WTTW, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create/WTTW World, WTTW PBS Kids 24/7, wttw.com, and the PBS/WTTW video app. Recognized for award-winning journalism and local productions such as Chicago Tonight, Chicago by ‘L’, digital-first series FIRSTHAND, Urban Nature, and Foodphiles, and national productions Prehistoric Road Trip and Nature Cat, WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s public media content. Connect with WTTW on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
About Cooking Matters
Cooking Matters is helping end childhood hunger by inspiring families to make healthy, affordable food choices. Our programs teach parents and caregivers with limited food budgets to shop for and cook healthy meals. Cooking Matters is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. Learn more at CookingMatters.org.