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Woori Show’s mission is to preserve and celebrate Korean language and culture for the next generation here in the United States and around the world. With our educational, bilingual video series and offline learning resources, we hope to foster kindness, acceptance, and pride in our young viewers and their families. Through our music, lessons, stories, history, recipes and so much more, children of all backgrounds and ages will learn how to speak, read and write Korean words and phrases and fall in love with all aspects of Korean culture like food, dance, art, holidays and customs. With lovable recurring animated and human friends all living in a diverse, inclusive neighborhood, every learner is welcome and loved. Woori Show helps families discover diverse Korean American culture, learn stories about the Korean American experience, and write our Korean American history together. Working with artists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, language teachers, puppeteers, musicians, and artists, Woori Show’s videos and learning materials integrate language and history with culture, community and care.
About the Organization:
$100,000 - $500,000
There are approximately 1.7 million Korean Americans living in the US. However, despite the high population of Korean American families, there is a lack of resources, community, and support for Korean language and culture that resonates with the younger generations and excites them to preserve Korean language and culture here in America and outside of Korea. And while Kpop and Korean films and TV shows gain popularity in the US, they are not representative of the Korean American experience, journey or identity. In particular, there is a gap for young people and their families who want to learn Korean language outside of a traditional and often antiquated weekend school setting. One result of this gap is a lasting language barrier between generations of Korean Americans, leading to social isolation and lowered health outcomes for older generations, while limiting their opportunities to share historical wisdom, cultural stories, and life experiences with younger generations. Many young Korean Americans are facing unique challenges including generational language gaps, a perceived disconnect from Korean culture, and the inaccessibility of age and speaking level appropriate Korean language learning. Woori Show was born out of this need and demand. Through fun, engaging learning content, we celebrate Korean culture and make it more accessible for families and children. There is a deep need for inclusive, child-centered programming that invites young people into the Korean language. Before Woori Show, we founded Woori School Brooklyn because of this need; families were looking for a way to learn more about their culture outside of a classroom, integrating language and history with cooking, community, and care. In the5 years of running Woori School, we saw families connect with each other, generations in conversation, and young people build an interest and excitement about learning Korean and preserving Korean and Korean American traditions, holidays and customs alive and well in the United States. Through the creation of Woori Show, we are able to support Korean American families and allies in learning and sharing Korean culture in a way that allows young people to see themselves and their identities reflected, celebrated and honored.
Woori Show achieves its mission through a creative, youth-centered series blending elements of animation, puppet theater, art, history, food, dance, and music. Modeled after Sesame Street , Woori Show produces accessible online segments for every learner interested in Korean language and culture. The primary vehicle for distribution is Woori Show’s YouTube Channel and YouTube Kids Channel, which has garnered 7,291,048 views and almost 16K subscribers. We’re sharing language and culture while centering Korean American and Asian American voices, art, and practice. With Woori Show, young people see their identities reflected, celebrated, and growing. Woori Show’s first core pillar is celebrating Korean American and Asian American culture. From singing about Korean Lunar New Year to cooking special birthday recipes with Asian American chefs, we preserve holidays, traditions, and customs and share them with our neighbors. Our second pillar is language preservation. We firmly believe that keeping connected to a heritage culture really happens with preserving language. Every one of our videos include a language “lesson” in some form. We engage young learners with original bilingual songs and videos teaching practical Korean phrases like daily activities, affirmations and feelings. Our third pillar is identity & community. Our programming aims to educate young people and their families about the positive impact and diverse cultural history and contributions from Korean Americans and Asian Americans. With this grant, we hope to develop new video series including: Asian American role models, intergenerational interviews on immigrant experiences, and stories of charity and heroism. We have a strong background in education and language development and hope to build upon our network and reputation. We hope to host and film an annual educational summit that brings together parents, professionals, and educators to exchange ideas and resources on how children are learning Asian languages here in the US. Woori Show itself is an organization that grew out of a five year endeavor, Woori School Brooklyn, a Korean immersion school for children and families that taught Korean language and culture through music, dance, play and food.