Sky will add closed captions to 500 episodes of popular children’s shows as part of an ambitious new plan to improve the reading and writing skills of children who watch TV at home. To bring subtitles to the hours of the Sky Kids shows, the British broadcaster worked with production companies Warner Media and Viacom CBS.
The 500 subtitled episodes have been combined into a new collection called Turn on the Subtitles. Sky has also committed to promoting the campaign on set-top boxes across the country. According to the satellite company, poor reading and writing skills can hold someone back throughout their personal life and career.
Currently, every fourth child in the UK leaves elementary school without being able to read fluently. While there are a number of ways to encourage kids to read, enabling subtitles in the same language in children’s content is a novel way to double the chances of them becoming a competent reader. Research on eye-tracking behavior has shown that 94 percent of children engage with subtitles while watching their favorite shows, improving spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.
Best of all, research shows that children often do not know they are studying while watching their favorite shows with subtitles enabled.
Sky picked some of the most popular shows to add in-language subtitles. The subtitle on campaign includes SpongeBob SquarePants (Nicktoons), PAW Patrol (Nick Jr.), The Amazing World of Chewing Gum (WarnerMedia), Be Cool, Scooby-Doo (Warner Media), and Sky Kids Originals. like Pirates Love Underpants and Moominvalley.
Speaking of the new initiative, which launched on Sky Q-Boxing March 8th, Turn on the Subtitles Co-Founder Oli Barrett MBE said: “Some ideas are so powerful that something needs to be done about them. Subtitles that the Improving literacy is one of those ideas. This campaign is taking an incredibly simple glimpse and using it to make people’s lives better. We’re incredibly grateful for the support from Sky, Viacom, and Warner Media for taking this seriously now, and for the many high profile names that help us get the word out. “
Turn On The Subtitles is not a company but describes itself as “some like-minded people who think this idea is so obvious it just has to happen”. For more information about the initiative and how you can get involved, visit the turnonthesubtitles.org website.
Commenting on Sky TV’s involvement in intuitive communication, Lucy Murphy, Director of Children’s Content at Sky, said, “At Sky, we connect millions of children with stories they love. We’re excited to partner with WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS to support the Turn on the Subtitles campaign and improve the reading and writing skills of thousands of children in the UK and Ireland by simply turning on subtitles for their favorite shows. “