When I grow up I want to be....

    TSX: AAC.A / AAC.B

    TORONTO, March 26 /CNW/ - A new Ipsos Reid survey reveals that parents
and preschoolers don't exactly see eye to eye when it comes to potential
careers. Commissioned on behalf of the preschool TV series Lunar Jim(TM), the
aim of the survey of 1,096 Canadian parents - with children between the ages
of two and five years old - was to uncover the attitudes of both parents and
their preschoolers toward science and scientific learning.
    The stop-motion animated TV series, Lunar Jim(TM) is set on the moon and
engages youngsters by utilizing basic scientific inquiry skills in an
entertaining and fun way.
    When it comes to parents' preferences for their children, science-based
professions are most popular, with 39 per cent of parents choosing medical
professional, scientist, engineer, veterinarian or astronaut. Parents clearly
don't have stars in their eyes when it comes to their kids with fewer than one
in 10 parents (6%) aspiring for their child to become a performer.
    When asked what they thought their kids would like as a career, parents
infer that performing artist (13%) tops the list followed by fire-fighter
(11%) and medical professional (9%). Only one-fifth (22%) of preschoolers
would choose a science-based profession.

    --------------------------------     --------------------------------
     TOP 10 Things Parents Would          TOP 10 Things Parents Think
      Like Their Children To Be            Their Children Would Like
          When They Grow Up                 To Be When They Grow Up
    --------------------------------     --------------------------------
    1   Medical Professional    22%      1   Performing Artist       13%
    --------------------------------     --------------------------------
    2   Business Professional    8%      2   Fire-Fighter            11%
    --------------------------------     --------------------------------
    3   Engineer                 7%      3   Medical Professional     9%
    --------------------------------     --------------------------------
    4   Performing Artist        6%      4   Police Officer           6%
    --------------------------------     --------------------------------
    5   Veterinarian             5%      5   Teacher                  6%
    --------------------------------     --------------------------------
    6   Builder/Architect        4%      6   Builder/Architect        5%
    --------------------------------     --------------------------------
    7   Teacher                  4%      7   Other                    5%
    --------------------------------     --------------------------------
    8   Lawyer                   4%      8   Veterinarian             5%
    --------------------------------     --------------------------------
    9   Scientist                3%      9   Engineer                 3%
    --------------------------------     --------------------------------
    10  Astronaut                2%      10  Astronaut                2%
    --------------------------------     --------------------------------

    Encouraging Development

    Over two-thirds (68%) think the best way to incite kids' interest in
science is by encouraging them to be curious, ask questions and find solutions
or encouraging them to play and explore their environment both indoors and
outside. Approximately the same proportion (66%) indicates that their
preschoolers are interested in books and TV programs about characters and
their adventures.
    "High-quality, age-appropriate, educational television shows like Lunar
Jim(TM) can have positive effects on children, not the least of which is the
development of inquiry skills - asking questions and finding answers,
proposing theories, engaging in research and ultimately problem-solving," says
Dr. Lynn Oldershaw, Developmental Psychologist for Children's TV, CBC. "All of
these play a big role in all aspects of life and influence their later
    "While astronaut - Lunar Jim's chosen career - didn't figure highly on
either parents' or preschoolers' lists, it's primarily encouraging that
parents really do see the importance of developing an interest in
science-oriented learning," says Alexander Bar, creator of the original
concept upon which Lunar Jim(TM) is based. "Space should feel accessible and
exhilarating for young people. It's entirely possible that today's
preschoolers may end up being tomorrow's colonizers of the moon. Making space
and simple science fun is a first step to developing a long term passion for
exploration, science and an interest in space."

    Faking It and "Why? Why? Why?"

    When it comes to parents themselves, the research reveals that almost
half (48%) of those surveyed were both enthusiastic and capable science
students. Their passion for problem-solving is further reinforced with their
"setting a good example" approach to encouraging young children to learn and
be solution-oriented. Only four per cent of those surveyed admitted to faking
answers when they don't know the responses to their child's questions - and
only three per cent claim to know everything!
    Interestingly, Moms are more likely than Dads to try to figure out the
answer together with their child (69% vs. 59%). And Dads are more likely to
say they know everything (4% vs. 1%).
    According to the research, two-thirds of parents (64%) admit that they
come clean with their wee ones when they don't know an answer to a question -
and that they encourage discovery by making it a joint effort to uncover
answers with their child using toys, books and/or TV.
    "Preschool children already come equipped with some basic scientific
inquiry skills - they are curious, keen observers and energetic explorers,"
says Dr. Oldershaw. "Given that television viewing is a very real part of most
children's lives today, an important goal of Lunar Jim(TM) is to ensure that
they benefit educationally from the experience. Young viewers are encouraged
to find their own solutions to problems, giving them a sense of pride and
accomplishment while being thoroughly entertained."
    Airing nationwide on the CBC weekdays at 7:30 a.m. - and on Saturdays at
7 a.m. ET/AT, 7:30 a.m. NT and 6 a.m. CT/MT/PT - Lunar Jim(TM) transports
preschoolers into an exciting world of discovery, fun and adventure -
promoting problem-solving skills through persistence, creativity and
cooperation. Now in production for a second season, the series follows Jim and
his friends, including Rover the Robot Dog, Ripple the Super Space Mechanic,
Eco the Farmer and T.E.D., the Technical Equipment Device, as they live in
Moona Luna, their village on the moon.
    The series also appeals to an international fan base, including
preschoolers in Australia, Germany, France, India, Mexico and the U.S.

    Survey Methodology

    These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid/Alliance Atlantis online survey,
on behalf of Lunar Jim(TM), conducted from February 23 to February 26, 2007.
For this study, a representative randomly selected a sample of 1096 adult
Canadian parents with children between the ages of 2-5 was surveyed. With a
sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-3.0
percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had this
entire population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within
regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were
weighted according to Census data.

    About Lunar Jim(TM)

    Lunar Jim(TM) is a co-production between DHX Media's Halifax Film unit
and Alliance Atlantis, which distributes the series worldwide. As previously
announced, Fisher-Price is the master toy licensee, and agreements with
additional key merchandising partners and international broadcasters are
continuing to be finalized.

    About Alliance Atlantis Communications

    Alliance Atlantis offers Canadians 13 well-branded specialty channels
boasting targeted, high-quality programming. The Company also co-produces and
distributes the hit CSI franchise and indirectly holds a 51% limited
partnership interest in Motion Picture Distribution LP, a leading distributor
of motion pictures in Canada, with a presence in motion picture distribution
in the United Kingdom and Spain. The Company's common shares are listed on the
Toronto Stock Exchange - trading symbols AAC.A and AAC.B. The Company's
website is www.allianceatlantis.com.

For further information:

For further information: To arrange an interview with Dr. Lynn
Oldershaw, contact: Kendal Lo,  Margaret Antkowski, NATIONAL Public Relations,
Tel: (416) 586-0180, klo@national.ca, mantkowski@national.ca

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