You might want know who started this whole thing. That’s me, Russell Miller.* I’ve been creating entertainment experiences for kids — digital, video, print and real-life — since I was 14, at summer camps and in youth groups; for ten years, at Sesame Workshop; then at Disney, Scholastic, PBS stations in New York and Chicago, the American Museum of Natural History, Nickelodeon and even the Metropolitan Opera. Here’s the official bio:
An honors graduate of Harvard College, Russell Miller holds Masters degrees in education, from New York University; journalism, from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University; educational psychology, from the City University of New York; and sideshow arts, including fire-eating, sword-swallowing, and human blockhead, from Coney Island USA’s Sideshow School. He is currently affiliated with the City University of New York, where he conducts research on the neuroscience of reading acquisition at its Graduate Center and teaches undergraduate courses in social-science research methods and children’s media at Brooklyn College.
As Director of Education at Nickelodeon Digital TV from 2001 through 2004, Russell pioneered the concept of network-wide learning objectives, designing unified messaging in both long-form and edu-stitials for two children’s TV/online services: Noggin, with a standards-based curriculum for preschoolers, and The N, with a lifeskills curriculum for adolescents. To support Noggin’s electronic programming, he created Club Noggin, a monthly hands-on program for preschoolers offered in more than 80 shopping malls nationwide. With The N’s teen drama Miracle’s Boys, he introduced formative research to dramatic programming for adolescents; the resulting mini-series won a Writers Guild Award for Best Episodic Childrens Script. He served as consultant in adolescent development for the first ten seasons of the classic teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. Since 2005, Russell has led the Center for Intentional Media, dedicated to identifying, crafting and delivering educational content in both new and traditional media.
A New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Non-Fiction Literature, Russell has reported for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone and WNYC/New York Public Radio. A member of the Writers Guild of America, he’s created documentary film for Turner Network Television and the American Film Institute, including a pioneering political documentary for teens, Delegation. together with industrials for clients from A&E Networks to the Juilliard School of Music. He has taught elementary and middle school, as well as child psychology and graduate-level communication theory, practice and ethics at the City University of New York and Harvard University.
*P.S. That picture up there–that’s me on one of the most bittersweet afternoons in the history of entertainment. We were about to go watch the very-last-ever performance of the Greatest Show on Earth — Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. So glorious & so sad.