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Between the Lions; Preschool Literacy Initiative

BETWEEN THE LIONS Pre-school Literacy Initiative UNIT 1.1 “But, Mama, But” Episode TRT 11:41

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Between the Lions
Preschool Literacy Initiative
Series Description

BETWEEN THE LIONS is designed to open up a world of literature and learning for 4-7 year-old children. The daily, half-hour series is named for a family of lions -- Theo and Cleo and their cubs, Lionel and Leona. They run a library where books, words, and story characters come vividly and magically to life, transforming the sometimes confusing process of learning to read into an entertaining adventure for young viewers. Each of BETWEEN THE LIONS' 30 episodes centers on a book or other reading material that the lions and their friends discover in the library. In addition to its lions family, BETWEEN THE LIONS features an eclectic cast of characters including Click the Mouse, the library's cyborg communications expert; Cliff Hanger, a swashbuckling comic book hero who escapes from sticky situations through quick thinking and literacy skills; Tiger Words, a multi-talented sports figure who plays with vowels and consonants instead of golf balls and tees; Martha Reads and the Vowelles, a rhythm and blues group that sings only vowel sounds, and the stalwart knights of "Gawain's World" whose jousting matches create words instead of wounds. At the core of each episode is a state-of the-art curriculum designed to teach reading skills. Several of the nation's leading experts on reading and literacy have worked with the producers to develop a viewing experience that not only will motivate kids to read and write, but give them the skills to do so. Series release date: 4/2000

Program Description

The Between the Lions Preschool Literacy Initiative was created in 2005 to improve early childhood education and build a strong literacy foundation among preschoolers. Participating child care centers receive a comprehensive set of curriculum materials drawn from Between the Lions, along with professional development and mentoring. The production is a partnership between MPB, WGBH Boston, Sirius Thinking, Ltd., CPB, U.S. Department of Education, and Barksdale Reading Institute.

To learn more about the Between the Lions Preschool Literacy Initiative and the Mississippi Literacy Study, please visit – www.betweenthelionsliteracy.org



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Stoia, Judy (Series Producer)
Chicago: “Between the Lions; Preschool Literacy Initiative,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed March 22, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_87FB831D3512432EB327F3473B46F710.
MLA: “Between the Lions; Preschool Literacy Initiative.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. March 22, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_87FB831D3512432EB327F3473B46F710>.
APA: Between the Lions; Preschool Literacy Initiative. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_87FB831D3512432EB327F3473B46F710
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