Get Hooked on Learning with Miss Fish
“Every interaction that you are willing to learn from, you can,” says Miss Fish Kennisha Fisher.
Fred Rogers was famous for an endless supply of blue cardigans and phrases that projected love right through the television such as, “I like you just the way you are.” If you were a fan of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, then get ready to welcome to your home the new local kids show Learn This with Miss Fish, available on YouTube. With an easygoing and optimistic attitude like that of Fred Rogers, Kennisha Fisher is ready to release “mindful content” and redefine children’s programming in the process.
As a professional newborn photographer and a mother to five teenage boys, Kennisha is no stranger to how a child’s mind works. She’s watched a kid’s show or two (or a million) along the way, so when she and her creative team set out to develop Learn This with Miss Fish, they made conscious choices with its message. “My goal was to blend the shows my children grew up with and the bottom-line wholesome content that Fred Rogers put in my life,” she says.
Educational programs like Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues, with their slower pace and characters who speak directly to the audience, also served as a blueprint for Learn This With Miss Fish. “On the mission statement was written, ‘This is not a microwavable product. This is an oven-baked system,’” Kennisha says. This idea is a magical recipe when connecting with kid viewers. Inherent in this format is space for comfort and encouragement. “Having a moment of still was so important. Mindfulness is huge,” she says.
Learn This With Miss Fish is absolutely purposeful when it comes to theme, content, and structure. “We have a structure that is based upon the thought process of, ‘What do I want or need to know, and what did I learn?’” Following this guide, everyone watching can take a fun journey and discover each new lesson along with Miss Fish. Kennisha says this was an important element for the show: “I wanted us to learn together.”
When developing relevant story concepts, Kennisha is committed to “calling everyone’s conscience into action.” One of her intentions is to provide a powerful resource to help parents and caregivers support their kids. Her desire to teach children the concepts of kindness and helpfulness is paramount. That’s one reason why Learn This With Miss Fish is committed to breaking down outdated stereotypes and incorporating diversity into its storytelling. “I want to be sure that we constantly incorporate diversity, that it’s not just a word,” Kennisha says.
“One of the things I love about Mr. Rogers,” Kennisha begins, “is the personal interactions. Your child is engaged in a really emotional way while watching the TV.” And children ages 18 months to 4 years are the optimal age for engaging emotionally in Miss Fish’s wonderful journeys. Kennisha adds that kids ages 5-7 will also enjoy watching and can benefit from the show’s structure of presenting a challenge and finding a solution. And with 12 more episodes in production, the first to air on YouTube in May, kids will be able to do just that.
Ideas for Learn This With Miss Fish come from Kennisha’s life experiences. “This show is a reflection of everything that’s been poured into me,” she says. Her children, her husband, and close friends are all relationships that have inspired Learn This With Miss Fish. “Every interaction that you are willing to learn from, you can,” she says.
When Kennisha isn’t giving her time to planning positive programming for the youngsters of YouTube, she’s giving time to her family. With a house full of teenagers, she says, “I am at this age where what really matters is connection. So what I’ve noticed is my kiddos really want me to be available,” she says. She gets this done by always being ready to communicate and even running errands with her kids to spark some good talk time.
For families seeking to find their own ways to connect, Kennisha suggests staying actively engaged with your kids. Take time to invest in your child’s interests. “Figure out what your kids love. If your child has a favorite TV show, watch it and bring it up in random conversation. You’re now a hero,” Kennisha says. You are your child’s expert, and this is the basis for creating a strong foundation for trust and communication that can continue to grow with your child.
When it comes to modeling positive learning lessons for kiddo viewers, Kennisha Fisher is committed to helping children and their parents better understand the world in which we live and the emotions that guide them. “Kids are capable of having real deep emotions and real consistent levels of learning,” Kennisha says. And we’re ready to learn this along with Miss Fish.