PBS Kids announced the production of “Alma’s Way,” an animated series created by Sonia Manzano, who played Maria on “Sesame Street” for over 40 years.
The upcoming show is slated to premiere on PBS stations as well as the PBS Kids channel and digital platforms in the fall of 2021. Its titular character, Alma Rivera, is a six-year-old Puerto Rican girl living in the Bronx with her parents and brother. Each story, about 11 minutes long, will engage directly with viewers as the Alma works through challenges and spends time with her diverse friend group.
“I am thrilled to return to public television and to work with PBS KIDS and Fred Rogers Productions on this project inspired by my own childhood,” Manzano said. “Alma’s way is to think things through, and I hope by animating the thought process, kids will be inspired and excited about what goes on in their own minds. I want them to know we all have the power to think regardless of who we are.”
With 40 episodes currently in production, the series hopes to teach children social awareness through the characters’ modeling of empathetic decision-making processes. The episodes also include “Think-Through” moments to show the importance of listening and taking details into account during tough decisions.
Produced by Fred Rogers Productions and animated by animated by Pipeline Studios, “Alma’s Way” also showcases various aspects of Latinx culture, from food to music and more.
“We can’t wait for kids to meet Alma. She’s an optimistic and confident Puerto Rican girl who models for viewers how to think their way through any dilemma,” reads a statement by Ellen Doherty, chief creative officer of Fred Rogers Productions. “The show is funny, warm and relatable. We love how it showcases the diversity of New York City, too, and authentically reflects the cultures of all the characters.”
The show is executive produced by Doherty and Manzano, with Jorge Aguirre serving as head writer.