SALSA blends puppets, animation, live action and
music to create a unique experience for first-time learners of Spanish
language and culture. The series spices up learning by creating a visually
exciting production, complete with funny characters that children can
enjoy, in situations they can quickly recognize and understand. SALSA
also portrays the rich variety and heritage of Hispanic culture.
Children are immersed in the traditional music, colorful attire and social
customs that make up SALSA. It was developed by a team of
educators, award-winning producers and curriculum experts. An advisory
board of nationally recognized experts in the fields of foreign
language education and early childhood development continues to guide
and shape the series. Produced, distributed and operated by Georgia Public Broadcasting, SALSA is highly regarded by educators and students across the country.
Benefits for Hispanic Children
While SALSA is designed for all children, it has special benefits for the Hispanic child. One of the most exciting results of the data gathered from SALSA in the classroom is a marked increase in participation by Hispanic children. Over and over again, Hispanic children who were a minority in their classrooms moved from being reserved to participatory when SALSA became part of their classroom experience. Suddenly, the Spanish-speaking children were the "experts," helping classmates and even their teachers with vocabulary and pronunciation. For many Hispanic children, SALSA is an affirming and confidence-building experience.
Testing and Evaluation
As evidence of how innovative and imaginative SALSA is in introducing Spanish language and culture, the series was selected for inclusion in the Iowa Nebraska Technology Challenge Grant. This $6.5-million study was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and among other elements evaluated the use of technology-driven foreign language instruction. The study was conducted over five years. GPB Education recognizes the importance of continuing evaluation. A recently completed study by the Division of Educational Studies, Emory University, reports that children enjoy SALSA whether they watch it in school, in an after-school program or at home. Children especially enjoy the opportunity to learn Spanish; the animated character, Salsa; and the use of familiar stories, humor and repetition. Educators described SALSA as "superior" to other educational video programs designed for this age viewing audience.
The Emory study also revealed that SALSA nurtures cultural appreciation. SALSA portrays Hispanic people and cultures positively and non-Hispanic children gained appreciation of and respect for Hispanic people and cultures. Hispanic children gained increased self-esteem and cultural pride and the series promoted interaction between non-Hispanic and Hispanic children. One teacher commented that "[My] students are not familiar with other cultures... SALSA has been a wonderful multi-cultural experience for the students."
In addition, SALSA helped children acquire core Spanish vocabulary and
reinforced the skills of children with a prior knowledge of Spanish.
Children used Spanish vocabulary in other contexts. The series also helped Spanish-speaking children learn English and exposed teachers to core Spanish words and phrases. One child said, "[SALSA] gave Hispanic families a show for their families to see."
Joline "Joey" Baughman – Educational Specialist
Former Director, Education Services Division, Georgia Public Broadcasting
A noted authority on utilization of telecommunications technology in education, Ms. Baughman managed and directed one of the largest satellite networks for education in the nation. Based in Atlanta, Ms. Baughman headed the PeachStar Satellite Network, which delivered quality educational programming to Georgia schools and a nationwide audience of students, educators and life-long learners.
She continued to shape the future of education in Georgia and throughout the nation as a trailblazer for development and use of technology in the classroom. As director of the PeachStar Satellite Network, Ms. Baughman served as the executive producer for several award-winning educational programs, including Count On It!, a mathematics instruction series for students in the primary grades; Georgia Stories I and Georgia Stories II, voted best instructional series in the country as winner of the 1996 International Film and Video Award, International Studies, originating from the Carter Presidential Center; and Irasshai, a Japanese language and culture course that features nationally renowned Japanese instructor Tim Cook. Ms. Baughman conceived of and initiated SALSA and led its development and production.
Melissa Shepard Sykes – Executive Producer
A six-time Emmy-Award winning producer (regional), Ms. Sykes guided the production of SALSA through the creation of a three-episode pilot and the realization of the full series, including production and character design, script development, studio production, music, animation and field production. Ms. Sykes was Georgia Public Broadcasting's producer and director for both seasons of the PBS-Plus series Life on the Internet, hosted by Scott Simon. She has extensive experience in film and television and her work has been presented on PBS, APS, NPR, Gannett Broadcasting, Group W and HGTV. She was the production manager of the "bee world" created for the acclaimed film Ulee's Gold, directed by Victor Nuñez and starring Peter Fonda. Ms. Sykes is the executive producer of Finders, Seekers, Science Keepers, a 24-episode K-1 science series for the Educational Management Group's Galaxy Classroom series. Among her many documentaries is Music Masters and Rhythm Kings, which earned a Bronze Apple from the National Educational Film and Video Festival.
Greg Duncan, M.Ed. – Spanish Language Specialist
Greg Duncan has been involved in the fields of foreign language and international education for 25 years. He has held positions of teacher, high school department chair, high school administrator and coordinator for foreign languages and international education for nine years in the Georgia Department of Education. Mr. Duncan specializes in assisting schools, school systems, institutions of higher learning and educational agencies in the areas of foreign language, English to speakers of other languages and international education. He has worked with The College Board, The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language, the Goethe House New York, the American Association of Teachers of German, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, the Satellite Educational Resources Consortium, The Carter Center of Emory University and the Southern Center for International Studies.
Joy E. Blount, Ph.D. – Early Childhood Specialist
Dr. Blount, formerly the director of early childhood programs (Pre-K-5th Grade) for the Georgia Department of Education, has been in the fields of early childhood, elementary education and special education for 20 years. She developed and administered Georgia's Pre-kindergarten Program (approximately $200 million in grants and contracts) as well as associated professional development activities, such as statewide conferences and regional training institutes. Additionally, Dr. Blount has been involved in the development and administration of Georgia's Kindergarten Assessment Program, Georgia's Writing Assessment Program (3rd, 5th, 8th grades and high school) and programs for elementary students at risk of academic failure. She specializes in assisting schools, school districts, and private and public organizations in the areas of instructional program and strategy design, professional development design and implementation, and educational product development.
Lyn May – Host
Lyn May worked for more than two decades as a reporter, producer, executive producer, talk show host, news anchor, writer and consultant in commercial and public broadcasting in the cities of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston and Washington, D.C. She continued her television career with SALSA. Ms. Maywas a vice president of The Georgia Foundation of Independent Colleges. Prior to this position, Ms. May was a director of communications for The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, specializing in media relations for security, construction and Centennial Olympic Park, speech writing and other crisis communications and management. She is a former press secretary for Mayor Maynard Jackson and has also held positions of deputy director and director of communications for the City of Atlanta. Ms. May is a former trustee of Boston's Emerson College and the North Shore Community College in Beverly, MA. Her current involvement in civic affairs includes membership on the boards of the Alliance Theater Company, the Georgia Humanities Council, the Ossabaw Island Foundation and Wren's Nest, the family home of writer Joel Chandler Harris, where she is president of the board of directors.
MELISSA SHEPARD SYKES
DAWN L. DOUGLASS
MIKE ELLENBERG, TASLIN ALFONSO
CHRISTINA GLASS, GINA BAKONYI
LEE BRYAN, SCOTT DEPOY, JIMMY JAY, ANNIE PETERLE, DON SMITH, VINCE TORTORICI, GREGG WALLACE, MATT YATES
SUSANA BRADY, FRANCOIS CLEMENCEAU, STEVE COULTER, ENRIQUE GARDUZA, VÍCTOR RAMÍREZ, FREDERICA SÁNCHEZ
MINDFLEX: STEVE TANNER, GAVIN HOLMES, THATCHER BELL, DAVID KLINGLER, TERRY EGDAL, MICHAEL DAROVEC, SHANE McGEE WEATHERFORD COMMUNICATIONS: JOHN WEATHERFORD, MADELINE MASSARA, JOSÉ ACOSTA, TIM HYNES
Children's Segments Producer/Talent Coordinator
DYSTAR TELEVISION:STEVE BYERLY, COLLIN SIEDOR, CHRISTINE BRANDIGI-CLARK, KEN LIMARDO, JOANN MALIS LYMAN, TAMMY THOMAS
CARLOS FRANCISCO ASSE
SALSA Character Design
KEITH BAILEY PRODUCTIONS
Post Production Audio
CROSSTOWN AUDIO: NICK KETTER, ROB GRABLE, ADAM WALLACE
Puppet Designers & Builders
MARILYN WALL-ASSE, RONALD BINION, CONNIE FURR, JENNIFER SMITH, KEITH BAILEY PRODUCTIONS
Post Production Video
ATLANTA MEDIA CONCEPTS: STEVE NORTH, MARK PINTAR
DANNY SCHNITZLEIN, VINCE TORTORICI, ANNIE PETERLE
MIRA HILBERT, ALICE HEHR
MARK HYETT, CHRIS KOUNELIS, MICHAEL BLACK
REBA BAKER KELLER, MARGARET CORNELIO MITCHELL, JACQUELINE CABRERA
DEBORAH DAVIS, RON KIRK, VINCE HUTCHERSON, KEN SPENCER
Early Childhood Consultants
JOY BLOUNT, Ph.D., SHARON DAY
Director of Education Services, Georgia Public Broadcasting
Executive Director of Georgia Public Broadcasting
AARON D. HOLLOWAY