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September 7, 2006

"Give Me a Little Sign": Special deaf awareness episode of PBS's Maya & Miguel to launch new season

From: - Sep 7, 2006

The third season of Scholastic Media’s popular children’s animated series Maya & Miguel will kick-off with a groundbreaking new episode entitled, “Give Me a Little Sign” and will be premiere on Monday, September 25 on PBS KIDS GO!

Scholastic media is collaborating with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and Captioned Media Program (CMP) for this special episode which will premier during National Deaf Awareness Week (September 24 – September 30), and will be broadcast in open caption. In addition, the episode will be re-aired each day for the remainder of the week to officially kick off the series’ third season, which begins with all new episodes on October 2.

“Give Me A Little Sign” was inspired by the personal story of Maya & Miguel star Lupe Ontiveros (Desperate Housewives, Selena, Real Women Have Curves), who brings the voice of the beloved “Abuela Elena” to life. Lupe is the mother of two hearing-impaired sons and has a very personal devotion to building awareness for the deaf community. She worked closely with Executive Producer Deborah Forte bring this cause to life through the characters on Maya & Miguel. The result is a groundbreaking episode, which relays to children the importance of acceptance and kindness to others with differences. In addition, Forte’s production team consulted with American Sign Language (ASL) experts and mastered a very different production process to successfully bring sign language to the animation world.

In “Give Me A Little Sign,” Tito befriends a new boy, Marco, who is deaf. Marco starts to teach Tito some American sign language and they decide to do a project together for the school’s “Contraption Convention.” But when Tito, a second language learner, makes some pronunciation mistakes in school, he decides he doesn’t want to do the project anymore (since it involves public speaking). Only when he sees how Marco persists in getting across what he wants to say – even when people misunderstand him at first – does he realize the value of practice and determination, and decides to go ahead with the project.

Throughout National Deaf Awareness Week, children can share in this special television event through local activities in cities across the U.S. In collaboration with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the Captioned Media Program (CMP), Scholastic Media is presenting open captioned screenings of this special episode at local NAD libraries, where children and parents can preview “Give Me A Little Sign” and pick up materials on how the show was conceived and produced. Children will also receive an ASL alphabet chart poster created especially for this episode.
A list of the screening events being held at the various local NAD libraries around the country is attached.

In support of the premiere of “Give Me A Little Sign”, the Maya & Miguel website,, will feature online ASL activities and information about deaf awareness, including a special section where kids can write and send in their personal experiences with hard of hearing friends or family, as well as an ASL alphabet chart that will help children learn sign language on their own.

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