Locally produced children’s show is now streaming

By Krystle Wagner | Grand Haven Tribune:

An educational show being produced in Grand Haven is now streaming on multiple platforms.

Grand Haven-based School Zone Publishing Co. is partnering with Ameba TV for the first digital distribution of “Charlie & Company,” a live-action and animated series aimed at educating children ages 3-7. Producers say it helps kids learn about counting, the alphabet, reading, math, writing and more.

Initially, “Charlie & Company” was created for School Zone’s Little Scholar Tablet. The content is now also available through Ameba TV’s video streaming services on platforms such as Roku, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire, LG Smart TV, Sony, the web, and iOS and Android tablet and mobile devices.

While full-length “Charlie & Company” episodes have already been available on the Little Scholar Tablet, Peacock said the streaming now gives families the opportunity to use multiple platforms to watch episodes.

“It’s nice to have this complement,” said Barbara Peacock, managing director of School Zone Publishing.

The show follows the adventures of Charlie, a golden retriever, and his friends. It features original music from singer/songwriter Brian Vander Ark.

Before filming volume two in 2015, School Zone Publishing worked with a research firm, Dubit, to help make improvements on what they should offer after the first volume of “Charlie & Company.”

Volume two included an episode filmed at Grand Haven’s Coast Guard station.

Each “Charlie & Company” episode is comprised of sections such as learning, a puzzle question of the day and music video.

Instead of episodes slightly longer than 20 minutes, the streaming will show small snippets of each episode.

Given the format of the episodes, it flowed well for making smaller snippets for streaming, School Zone President Jonathan Hoffman said.

About 90 percent of the work for “Charlie & Company” has been done by either local talent and people originally from West Michigan. Peacock and Hoffman said that speaks volumes as to the talent in West Michigan, and to the people coming from universities.

Peacock said they are currently looking at licensing “Charlie & Company” items such as headphones and plush animals.

“We have a strong 2016 ahead of us,” Hoffman said.

Locally produced children’s show is now streaming