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December 08, 2019 | Tom Ballard

Knoxville-based Children’s Media Studio releases Sing and Spell: Christmas

It’s been several years since we posted an update on Sing and Spell, the pre-school phonics education offering from Knoxville-based Children’s Media Studio (CMS).

That silence changed in a big way with a recent email from CMS President and Content Director Cathy Vangieri who wrote, “Our first TV show episode is now available on Amazon Prime!  It’s called Sing and Spell: Christmas!”

According to Vangieri, those with a Prime membership can view the 24-minute episode for free. It features Sing and Spell’s cast singing classic carols of the season, an original new seasonal favorite named “Christmas Conga Line,” a letter lesson, and holiday jokes for the whole family.

Those in Knoxville may recall that Sing and Spell won the 2015 edition of the “What’s the Big Idea 48-Hour Pitch,” and we subsequently spotlighted the team’s effort under the CMS brand in a follow-up series (Part 1 and Part 2).

Vangieri is a former elementary school teacher experienced in teaching English to young children whose native language is something else. Before she became a classroom teacher, she had experience in the music industry with MTV and children’s programming with the Nickelodeon network. Those two capabilities are combined in the company’s programming.

“As CMS continued to create new short-form content, we wove the content into an a longer-form episodic series consisting of 27 shows,” Vangieri explains. The company started producing those longer versions last year. Now, there is a show for each alphabet letter plus Sing and Spell: Christmas. Each episode is 24 minutes in length.

With the turn of the clock into the next decade in a few weeks, the CMS content will be more widely available. “We now have a distributor who is getting us onto various Streaming Video on Demand platforms,” Vangieri says.

In addition to the original Learning Letters series which featured animated lessons and original songs for each alphabet letter, CMS has also produced the: (1) Learning Vowels series featuring Miss Cathy teacher lessons and original songs highlighting the multiple sounds of each vowel letter; (2) Letter Sound Song Chants, a listen and repeat style product for letter sound practice; and (3) other series including ones on beginning counting, colors, shapes, jokes, seasons, and even sharing/giving. The letters and vowels products are available on Apple Music and Spotify.

As if that’s not enough, CMS has also translated the original short-form Learning Letters series into Spanish with dual-language lessons and a new character, Maestro Javier.

“CMS has many ideas for future content development for the educational needs of our children and will continue to keep a pulse on evolving technology so we can better deliver our content to them,” Vangieri adds.

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