Those of you who follow us on our social media may have noticed that Simply Real Moms was in Miami last week, and that while in Miami we went wild and crazy about PBS!

We have a long time love for PBSKids shows, and earlier this year we were invited by PBS to become a part of their exclusive PBSKids VIP (Very Involved Parent) Program! Being a part of this amazing group of bloggers means that we get tons of awesome information about current AND upcoming shows that we get to share with you, as well as their amazing apps, local events and more! We were so honored to be asked, and we can’t wait to share everything with you all!

Today, I wanted to share with you what our trip to Miami was all about. We went along with other bloggers in the VIP program to interact and listen in on some of the amazing meetings that went on during PBS’s annual meeting. Stations from around the country were there, PBS execs, and even some familiar PBSKids faces!

We got amazing sneak peeks at upcoming shows for kids (and the adults, too!), so much to be excited about, but I think the biggest buzz when it came to the upcoming lineup was the announcement that the 4th season of Downton Abbey will premier January 5th 2014!

Our trip consisted of a Sesame Street themed breakfast, where all of the attendees were introduced to Armando, the newest neighbor on Sesame Street (more on him in a future post!) while he sang along with Sesame favorite, Rosita! I loved hearing from the fabulous Carol-Lynn Parente, Executive Producer of the show! She chatted with us about what the upcoming 44th season will bring, and I will be sharing that with you soon!

The VIPs had the chance to break away (just us!) to chat withPaula Kerger, the President and CEO of PBS, Carol-Lynn, Rosita and Ismael Cruz Cordova who plays Armando.

We also had an amazing meeting about PBSKids programming and media, and how the two are so well integrated! My household was already PBSKids.org and PBSKids apps fans, but I was so impressed with the thought that goes into every single detail of the games and the streaming that is accessed by our children. Know that when your child sits down to a computer to play PBSKids.org games, or picks up a mobile device to play one of their fantastic apps that so much thought went into making those games the absolute best when it comes to educational entertainment. Also know that if you aren’t into letting your child use the digital media, theres awesome resources on their websites and apps that help you as a parent find learning avenues in any situation! At a restaurant? Going for a walk? Find fun ways to turn it into a more educational time by going to the parent’s side of the websites and apps!

The PBSKids programming meeting had us floored. It came right after an educational panel that had my jaw dropping about statistics of our young children entering Kindergarten. Did you know that 30% of Kindergarteners come into school ALREADY behind where they should be educationally?

PBS sees the need for greater early education, and I was just so impressed with their plan to make educational programming and digital media all about education. Each show on the PBSKids lineup has an educational purpose.

Speaking of educational purpose, just WAIT until you get a peek at the newest show to hit PBSKids, Peg+Cat (that’s Peg plus Cat). We will give you an even closer look at it soon, but we had so much fun watching this math-based cartoon about a little red-headed girl named Peg and her hilarious cat named Cat. What inspiration for little girls to see another little girl on TV talking about math! Math is cool!

We will have a few more posts coming up that cover more of what we did in depth, but we just wanted to share some of what we brought back from the annual meeting…That PBS is SO much more than just television, and we were absolutely impressed with what goes into every little aspect of their tv shows and digital media!

*Thanks to PBS, who hosted our trip to the annual meeting, but all opinions are our own.