Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the director of outreach for PragerU, Jill Simonian, to the newsmaker line to discuss their new history program and platform for kids at pragerU.com/kids.
Leahy: We are joined now by our good friend, Jill Simonian. And Jill’s been with us before. She’s got some videos out at Prager University. And, Jill, you are pushing back against the woke culture in teaching our kids. Welcome, Jill.
Simonian: Hi! Yes. Hi, Michael. Yes, we are. We’re pushing back. We’re providing unwoke lessons. That’s what we’re doing at PragerU Kids.
Leahy: Wow! Thank you. Can I say thank you for that?
Simonian: Of course. Thank you. We appreciate you. We’re grateful for so many people who have been so excited about this program.
Leahy: Tell us about the series. When did it launch? And how can people get it and what’s the reaction been?
Simonian: Okay, so for those of you who are in your audience who have heard me before, I’m from PragerU Kids. We are part of PragerU. And what we have been doing for the past several months is developing kids’ shows that celebrate American values and teach American history. Kids videos, resources, shows for kindergarten through 12th grade.
We’ve got a whole line of different animated series, children’s books, and even our recent children’s book: Our debut children’s book, Otto’s Tales: The National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, which launched just last month and hit number one in the bestseller children’s category in a few days. But we’ve got videos.
And our brand new show that we have – for middle schoolers especially – is called TBH. And it’s To Be Honest History. And it’s a video history lesson. It’s very entertaining. It is history meets entertainment. It’s for middle and high school students.
And it teaches history without a political agenda because we know right now in our schools, revisionist history is being taught to our kids that is essentially trying to get our kids to hate America. So we’re pushing back with this brand new series called TBH, which stands for To Be Honest History.
And it’s super fun. And the first episode focuses on the scientific revolution. And if you watch it, Michael, you will laugh and enjoy it. And I would guarantee that you’re going to learn something that you never learned before.
Leahy: I’m looking at it right now at prageru.com in the videos of TBH history. Scientific Revolution. I can tell you, I’m just looking at it, it looks like it’s a fun thing. How many people have been downloading this? How many people have been looking at it? What’s the impact so far?
Simonian: I got to tell you, this particular show just launched. Was it yesterday? I think it was yesterday. What day are we on?
Leahy: It was a day before yesterday.
Simonian: It was the day before yesterday. The response has been incredible. I myself don’t have the numbers yet. Our children’s shows over the past several months have already garnered millions of views from parents and kids and grandparents and everyone inside of our PREP membership program that we do have to support our PragerU Kids content.
Our programs have got millions of views. This new episode just launched. Right now, we have this particular series to have a new episode once a month. I have a very strong feeling it’s going to be much more frequent than once a month. But yes, it’s fun. We have costumed characters.
We’ve got this group of young kids that are based in Arkansas, and they put together all these skits with all the cool hip snappy language that all the kids love. You and me, Michael, we’re a little bit old now. (Laughs)
Leahy: Yes, we are. (Laughs)
Simonian: I know, speak for yourself, Jill. (Leahy laughs) In this particular scientific revolution episode, we’ve got Galileo, Sir Francis Bacon, Aristotle, and these kids. If you guys watch the video or even the trailer at prageru.com/kids you’re really going to be impressed and delighted and thankful that history lessons like this are being provided to our kids that don’t have a political agenda.
Leahy: Crom Carmichael is in studio, and Crom has a question for you Jill.
Carmichael: This is very exciting. I love what you’re doing. And I understand that the way that, as you just described it is parents and grandparents can download these or go to the website and watch them.
Are you marketing them to independent schools, to charter schools, or are you marketing to any of the actual educational institutions? I’m sure the teachers’ unions would fight you like a tiger in government-run schools. But the schools that have autonomy, are you marketing to them?
Simonian: Absolutely. And one of the things that we have is our videos at PragerU Kids can be just like you said, for families to enjoy but also for schools. We have dozens and dozens of resources that are brand new that are absolutely appropriate for school.
This particular series, TBH, is a great resource for independent schools, charter schools, homeschooling parents, and even public schools to use. Because in many of our public schools, I don’t know if you guys are aware, but our schools are using videos just like this that were independently created from, not even from academic institutions.
There’s a particular history video series that many mainstream schools use and it’s called Crash Course. And Crash Course was one of the 100 channels that were funded by YouTube’s $100 million original channels initiative that they called that has been pushed through many schools.
And they’re all politicized videos. So our videos, particularly with TBH, are a response to these politicized initiatives – that these politicized groups have created these videos, sent them into our schools, and our children are at the mercy of watching these slanted “lessons,” which aren’t really lessons.
So, yes, what we are doing is we are telling parents, hey, present this to your school. Get this into your school. And in our membership program, especially for PragerU Kids. We call it our PREP membership program. It stands for PragerU resources for educators and parents.
We have thousands of teachers in our membership group, and they have responded so well saying, oh, my, I want to use this for my history class. I want to present this to the district to even consider us as an additional resource for my history class. So we’ve got a positive reaction, and we are hoping that teachers and parents share this with their schools.
Leahy: Jill Simonian with PragerU Kids, thanks so much. Keep up the great work. Come back again and tell us more. We really appreciate it.
Carmichael: Great stuff. Great stuff.
Simonian: Thank you. Thank you. So we want everyone to join us, become a member because we can’t keep these videos free without everyone’s generous support and membership. prageru.com/kids.
Leahy: Thanks Jill very much!
Listen to the full third hour here:
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