WVSOM’s Abracadabra receives regional Emmy nomination

The children’s television series, Abracadabra, has received a nomination for the Ohio Valley Chapter’s 53rd Annual Regional EMMY Awards.

The show, produced in partnership with West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB), received a nomination in the Children/Youth/Teens Category. Abracadabra, which is part of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine’s (WVSOM) larger Healthy Children’s Initiative, is in its fifth season. The TV series features magic, ventriloquism, humor and original music to demonstrate important lessons about health, nutrition, exercise and science.

“We are very honored to receive this nomination for Abracadabra,” said Michael Adelman, D.O., WVSOM president and creator of the television series. “Our main objective is to raise awareness of the importance of making healthy choices to improve the well-being of West Virginia children and their families.” Adelman appreciates the accolades, but realizes the highest honor is witnessing the change in lifestyle that the show inspires youth to make.

“It is heartwarming to hear parents say that their child wants to try new vegetables and wants to be more active,” Adelman replied.

“West Virginia Public Broadcasting is proud to help produce and to air Abracadabra. West Virginia children need to see West Virginia’s healthy role models, and that’s what this show does,” said Scott Finn, West Virginia Public Broadcasting executive director.

John Hale, WVPB video graphics and videographer, said the show sends a positive message to younger viewers on the importance of eating healthy, exercising and health interactions.

“These values should be commonplace, but with the current perceptions about West Virginia it is good to know that there is a program out there sending a positive and educational message to our viewers,” he said. “This nomination shines a light on the healthy lifestyle choices our young people make today. With soda and sugary foods readily available it’s easy to forget the healthier options that are available to not only children but adults as well.”

“The nomination for an Emmy award is a very special one to me personally,” said Aaron Shackelford, associate producer and editor for the show. “I have been involved in many noteworthy projects at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, but this project is special because I was heavily involved from the beginning. To PBS, it brings a different kind of message to the children of West Virginia than a standard kids show. It brings a message from West Virginia to West Virginia, and that is important.”  

“WVSOM is very fortunate to have the support of WVPB for this project,” said Marilea Butcher, producer for Abracadabra. “Everyone pulled together to ensure a high quality program to entertain and educate the young viewers. This show would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors: the Charleston Area Medical Center, The BrickStreet Foundation, and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of West Virginia.”

Besides the Abracadabra series, three additional components make up the Healthy Children’s Initiative to engage youth and reinforce the core elements of healthy living — community outreach, online experiences and publications/resources. The community outreach involves presentations to larger audiences at elementary schools or community centers and to individual classrooms at elementary schools.  Parents and teachers can join children in health and nutrition games, science experiments and magic tricks on the website www.abracadabra.org or use the educational resources available.

EMMY winners will be announced at the Ohio Valley Regional EMMY Awards program beginning at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Lawrenceburg Event Center in Lawrenceburg, Ind.