September 25, 2009

Electric Company Circuit Tour coming to region

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Get ready for a charged-up Columbus Day when the Electric Company Circuit Tour comes to Southern Illinois.

WSIU Public Broadcasting is bringing the tour to Rent One Ballpark in Marion on Monday, Oct. 12. The free, 90-minute multimedia event is for children ages 6 through 9 years old and their families. The gates open at noon. The event is from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

The show, featuring The Electric Company’s very own beat box artist, Chris Sullivan, who is known as “Shock,” invites kids into a world where reading is hip and where play and respect is hard-wired into their vocabulary and self-expression. Fun activities, educational materials, and free giveaways that focus on literacy encourage the children.

Up to 475 reserved seats near the stage are available for children who pre-register through the schools and youth group leaders. Those children will participate in hands-on activities during the show and receive a variety of exciting materials to take home. Additional stadium seating, also free, will be available for families, siblings, educators and students of all ages.

In the event of rain, the event will be at the Williamson County Pavilion, 1602 N. Sioux Drive, near the Illinois Centre Mall in Marion.

To schedule a personalized planning discussion and to arrange pre-registration for your group, contact Beth Spezia, WSIU’s outreach coordinator, at 618/453-5595, by Friday, Oct. 2.

WSIU’s partners include after-school programs, first- through third-grade classrooms, youth groups, faith groups, libraries and other groups who participated with Sesame Workshop and WSIU in production research for The Electric Company show.

The Electric Company Circuit Tour is another special event brought to Southern Illinois through WSIU’s Raising Readers campaign. A Ready to Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education, part of a cooperative agreement with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, and the Ready to Learn Partnership, funds the PBS KIDS Raising Readers campaign.

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the SIU Board of Trustees and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. It operates three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a Web site, local TV and FM production units, and an education and community outreach department -- reaching more than three million people across five states and beyond. WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people it serves. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Visit for more information.