Lex de Azevedo has spent his entire adult life to date working to make media more uplifting, more worthwhile. From musicals like Saturday’s Warrior and My Turn on Earth to film scores for Where the Red Fern Grows, Swan Princess and Charley to scriptures set to magnificent music in Gloria! and Hosanna! to the catchy, learn-the-Articles music and animation of Zack & Zoey Explore the Articles of Faith, Lex has proven that great, inspiring music and media not only entertain, they can testify, encourage and teach.
It’s a living legacy; several of Lex’s children have joined the “marvelous media” bandwagon. Daughters Rachel Coleman and Emilie de Azevedo Brown created the award-winning, Emmy-nominated series Signing Time that airs on Nick Jr. and PBS and Baby Signing Time, programs that teach American Sign Language (ASL) to deaf as well as hearing children. There’s also Potty Time, with its self-explanatory title.
Son Aaron created the animation in Zack & Zoey Explore the Articles of Faith, which Emilie produced, Aaron engineered-and in which young son Vitor has a cameo or two. Daughter Julie de Azevedo Hanks, MSW, LCSW is an LDS singer-songwriter-turned-social-worker who just released a new book called The Burnout Cure. That’s a lot of uplifting media-and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The family is passionate about media that teaches. Smart media.
But that, friends, is not what television execs want for our kids.
When Rachel, Emilie, Aaron and Lex created a fabulous new program for preschoolers, they were repeatedly told by TV executives that it was far too educational for television.
Yes, you read that right. Too educational. Apparently, television execs want dumbed-down programs for our little ones. Toys trump teaching; merchandising is chosen over developing minds.
Rachel and the TreeSchoolers is jam-packed with music, animation, real kids, singing, dancing, ASL, education and values. It uses “layered learning”: teaching multiple concepts simultaneously, so kids can learn about weather, rhyming and sharing all at once. Each 30-minute episode delivers a massive amount of content in a fun, educational way. Learning is turbo-charged with lots of music and the hands-on, tactile kinesthetics and whole-body learning of ASL and dancing.
“It’s what our fans expect. Our other shows help children learn new concepts with songs and sign language. We refuse to dumb down the new show just to get it aired on television,” says Emilie, who co-produces the show.
The de Azevedos utilized their considerable collective talent and 12 years of producing successful children’s programs and teamed up with Dr. Emily Swan, a PhD in educational psychology and reading. Together, they created a powerful multi-media curriculum for preschoolers that took over 5 years to develop.
Kids even learn how to learn: they wonder, ask, understand and then share. They’re moving, singing, signing, dancing-and learning! Kids love Rachel and the TreeSchoolers and parents can see their children’s progress as the kids understand and implement new concepts and skills.
So, do you want amazing, smart television for your kids? Do you want them to learn values and increase their emotional intelligence? Do you want maximum education and maximum entertainment–with music by Lex de Azevedo, no less?
Our kids deserve Rachel and the TreeSchoolers!