Kids Newsletter February 2018

Candy, flowers, heart-shaped notes – what's not to like about Valentine's Day? This sweet celebration, which happens every year on Feb. 14, is all about spreading the love. The holiday we know today got its name from a man named Valentine. While a few different stories are told about what he did to inspire the holiday, many people believe he's celebrated for his role as a Roman priest who helped couples secretly get married.

Black History Month is also celebrated in February. One aim of Black History Month is to expose the harmful effects of racial prejudice; another is to recognize significant contributions made by people with African heritage, including artists, musicians, scientists, political figures, educators and athletes. Across the United States, schools and communities organize to learn more about black history and culture. How is Black History Month recognized in your community?

Check out AETN's original documentary "Dream Land: Little Rock's West 9th Street." Little Rock, Arkansas's, West 9th Street was once a vibrant, African-American business and entertainment district. This documentary seeks to recognize, memorialize and share this history. The spirit and hard work of the people and the implications of federal programs such as Urban Renewal, school desegregation, the Housing Act of 1949 and the Eisenhower Interstate Program are explored.

Let's Read

My Fuzzy Valentine book cover

"My Fuzzy Valentine" by Naomi Kleinberg

It's Valentine's Day and Elmo has received an anonymous valentine. Who could have sent it? He checks with all of his friends and finds the answer right back where he started looking – at home!

Arthur's Valentine book cover

"Arthur's Valentine" by Marc Brown

Valentine's Day is just a few days away, and Arthur can't figure out who his secret admirer is. It might be Fern, but he hopes it's Sue Ellen. Or, is it Buster playing pranks? Can you guess?

Did You Know?

  • About 1 billion Valentine's Day cards are exchanged each year. This makes it the second largest seasonal card sending time of the year.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. improvised the most iconic part of his "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • Alexander Graham Bell applied for his telephone patent on Valentine's Day in 1876.
  • Black History Month was started in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
  • Despite the stories told in popular books and movies, one in four cowboys was black. In fact, it's believed that the real "Lone Ranger" was inspired by a black man named Bass Reeves who was originally from Arkansas.
  • Dr. Ben Carson, a black neurosurgeon, was the first surgeon to separate twins conjoined at the head.
  • Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine's Day in the late 1800s. Each year, over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased in the U.S. on Valentine's Day.
  • On average, 220,000 wedding proposals occur on Valentine's Day each year.
  • George Washington Carver developed 300 derivative products from peanuts including: cheese, milk, coffee, flour, ink, dyes, plastics, wood stains, soap, linoleum, medicinal oils and cosmetics.
  • Teachers receive the most Valentine's Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.

Let's Be Healthy

  • Do not completely deprive yourself – Valentine's Day is a time for laughter, fun and food. Having a small slice of cake or a couple of truffles will not lead to weight gain. Moderation is key.
  • Don't feel guilty – If you do pop the lid off that box of chocolates, don't feel guilty. Research indicates chocolate is chock-full of healthy compounds and may actually help prevent heart disease, enhance immune systems and give us a feeling of well-being.
  • Shoot for 30 – 30 minutes of exercise, that is. Consistent exercise helps strengthen your heart and burn the fat. If you can't fit in 30 continuous minutes of exercise, you can split it up into three 10-minute walks throughout the day.
  • Take charge of stress – Stress may affect your heart health. Taking a little time out for yourself will do wonders for your heart (and your well-being). Schedule some social time with a friend (make it a heart-pumping walk, and you will have squeezed in some exercise as well). Carve out 30 minutes to sit down with a good book or just take a moment to enjoy a cup of coffee, relax and recharge.

Let's Have Fun

  • Decorate – Keep valentines from past years and decorate the house with them. For the month of February, your house will be papered with love.
  • Make extra valentines – Pass them out as you go through your day. You'll be amazed whose day you'll be moved to brighten.
  • Hear the love – This is the time for your playlist of love songs. For more fun, let your kids create a new playlist. Skip the heartbroken songs and go straight for celebration!
  • Have a game night – Turn off the technology and get back in touch with each other during a Valentine family game night.
  • Have a movie marathon – Want a quieter evening? Settle down for a low-key night of family movie fun. Be sure to pop some popcorn or make a special snack.

Let's Get Creative

Valentine Puppy Craft

  • Construction paper (red, pink, white and black)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Black marker
  • Start by cutting out two big red and pink hearts from construction paper (let mom or dad help).
  • Cut the pink heart in half to make the dog's floppy ears. After that, cut out a smaller black heart for the nose and two little white hearts for the eyes.
  • Glue all the paper together and cut out a small pink oval to make a dog tongue sticking out. Add two dots on the eyes with black marker.
  • If you want to make your dog have spots, grab some red paint and dip your pointer finger in it. Use your finger to make spots wherever you wish.

Let's Go Exploring

Little Rock Central High School

Little Rock Central High School is recognized for the role it played in the desegregation of public schools in the United States. The nine black students' persistence in attending the formerly all-white Central High School was the most prominent national example of the implementation of the May 17, 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education. This makes it a perfect educational destination for Black History Month.

Let's Cook

a tiny chocolate cake

20 Second Chocolate Cake

  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Split the oil between two tall mugs with vertical walls, and then use your finger to spread it evenly up the sides. Drain any excess oil. The mugs must be very well oiled or the cake will stick when you try to unmold it.
  • Add the sugar to a small bowl, and then sift in the cocoa powder (a tea strainer works great for this). Add the heavy cream, egg and optional vanilla, and whisk until there are no lumps. Sprinkle the baking powder on top and quickly mix together.
  • Split the batter between the mugs and firmly tap the mugs on a towel-lined countertop to release any large air bubbles. Microwave one cake at a time.
  • Since you don't want to start and stop the microwave multiple times, set it for about 30 seconds, and closely watch the cake. It's done when the cake rises about half-way up to sides of the mug (about 18 seconds in a 1000 watt microwave). The difference between a tender fluffy cake draped in velvety chocolate sauce and a chewy hockey puck is a few seconds, so you'll need to experiment to see what works best for your microwave.
  • Because the mug retains heat, it will continue cooking until you unmold it, so have a plate ready and unmold the cake as soon as it comes out of the microwave.

What's New

AETN Announces 2018 PBS KIDS Writers Contest

AETN is now accepting entries for the AETN PBS KIDS Writers Contest. This exciting competition is designed to promote the advancement of children's literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. The contest empowers children in kindergarten through third grades to celebrate creativity and build literacy skills by writing and illustrating their own stories. Each entrant will receive a participation certificate, and 12 winners – three from each grade – will receive an AETN prize pack. In addition, first place winners will win a PBS KIDS Playtime Pad, which comes preloaded with educational games, music and videos. Winning stories, as well as contest rules, creative writing resources and entry forms, are available at Entries must be received by close of business Friday, April 6.

AETN Accepting Student Film Showcase Entries Through March 16

AETN is accepting entries through March 16 for "Student Selects: A Young Filmmakers Showcase," which highlights the creativity and talent of the state's kindergarten through 12th grade students. In addition to possible broadcast on AETN, students may choose to compete for Thea Foundation Young Filmmakers Scholarships and the Arkansas Historic Places Film Prize. Entries must be submitted electronically to or postmarked by Friday, March 16. Entry categories include, but are not limited to, documentary, narrative, animation, Claymation, stop-motion, music videos and PSAs.

Mr. Rogers putting on his shoes

"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" Turns 50!

On Feb. 19, 1968, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" made its broadcast debut. The show served as a television visit between creator Fred Rogers and his young viewers. With his caring and trusting ways, Rogers created a calm, safe place for children to learn about themselves, others and the world around them, while also bringing an affirmation of their self-worth. Between 1968 and 2000, 895 episodes were filmed, and it would only take you a little more than 18 days to watch them all.

Arthur and friends celebrating

New Episodes of "Arthur"

The Elwood City gang is back, with four brand-new Arthur episodes premiering the week of Valentine's Day, Feb. 12-15, at 4:30 p.m. Audiences can tune in to see D.W. uncover the true qualities of a princess, watch Arthur stand up for a friend, and cheer alongside the whole gang for a big soccer match. Even Arthur's dog PAL gets in on the fun!

Cat in the Hat looking at marbles

New Episodes of "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!"

Celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday Friday, March 2 with a brand new season of "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!" On Monday, March 12, PBS KIDS encores the one-hour movie "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Camping!," which finds The Cat, Fish, Nick and Sally on a fun and frenzied outdoor adventure as they camp, hike and paddle their way to Fish's family reunion.

"Pinkalicious & Peterrific"

"Pinkalicious & Peterrific," a new PBS KIDS animated series, will premiere Monday, Feb. 19, at 8 a.m. "Pinkalicious & Peterrific" encourages children to explore the arts and spark creativity. The series follows the adventures of Pinkalicious and her brother Peter. Pinkalicious imagines creative possibilities everywhere she looks. She is an artist at heart, and, like most creative people, she sees the world differently from others. She knows what she likes, and she is not afraid to express herself, though she sometimes needs help from her brother, Peter, and her neighborhood friends.

To help kick off the premiere, AETN is giving away a Pinkalicious Cupcake Cookbook and pink-a-rama storybooks.

For even more fun, Pinkalicious and her family are coming to Conway, and AETN is giving away tickets to the live stage show at Reynolds Performance Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus. The contest, which is open to Arkansas residents, will run from Thursday, Feb. 1 through Thursday, Feb. 8, on AETN's Facebook page (,. Entries may be submitted by commenting on the Pinkalicious contest post (. A winner will be selected by random drawing to win a family four-pack of tickets to the Sunday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m. live performance.

AETN will respond to the winning commenter's post on Facebook, and the winner will have 24 hours to claim the Pinkalicious prize pack.

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