It’s likely the first song most of us knew before we were even in preschool…
🎶 Come and play
Friendly neighbors there
That’s where we meet
Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street 🎶
Well, there is a new friendly neighborhood coming to PBS Kids and it goes right through the Bronx. It’s called Alma’s Way, and it is created by the beloved Sonia Manzano. Most kids know her as “Maria” on Sesame Street.
It was Manzano’s own childhood that served as the foundation for the new animated series. The center character of Alma’s Way is 6-year-old Alma Rivera. She is proud, she is Puerto Rican and she loves her neighborhood. Kids watching the series will get to know her parents, Mami and Papi, Alma’s younger brother Junior, her Abuelo, and Chacho, the family dog.
“I am so excited to be working with PBS KIDS and Fred Rogers Productions to introduce Alma, a strong and positive Puerto Rican girl who will empower young viewers,” said Manzano in a press release. Manzano herself was one of the first Latine characters on national television when Sesame Street debuted. She would go on to later get a Lifetime Achievement Emmy for that role in 2016.
The show is designed so that each and every episode will highlight different aspects of Latine cultures through customs, language, and of course our food. Music is the “backbeat” of the series and includes traditional Puerto Rican styles like plena, bomba, and salsa. And speaking of music, the original theme song was written and produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bill Sherman.
It is performed by Flaco Navaja and Summer Rose Castillo, who plays Alma. In fact, Summer herself lives in the Bronx so she can certainly identify with young Alma.
The series will be available for viewers in both English and Spanish on all PBS KIDS platforms when it debuts on October 4.