Lou Retton Starts “Flip Flop Shop”
Lou Retton gained international fame in the 1984 Olympic Games
by becoming the first U.S. woman to win the Gold Medal in the
all-around women’s gymnastics competition, and by winning more
medals than any other athlete at the ’84 Games. Mary Lou’s latest
project, besides being a mother to four, will be acting as host
of “Mary Lou’s Flip Flop Shop,” a new educational show airing
on PBS stations across the country. The show’s 13 half-hour, live-action
episodes, aimed primarily at preschool and elementary children
between ages 4 and 7, teach both physical growth and social development
skills through lessons brought to life by Mary Lou, five costumed
characters and a cast of children in the Flip Flop Shop, a fantasy
playroom. The show features visits to the fruit bowl to help children
learn that fruit is not only good to eat but also good for them,
and the Gallery, an art wall that showcases paintings created
by children around the world to introduce viewers to art. As in
most children’s shows, this one has many original songs, forty
in fact, throughout the 13 episodes. All this done in order to
teach important life lessons to children while encouraging them
to lead active, healthy lifestyles through “creative movement.”
The show is created by Shannon Kelly, Mary Lou’s husband, and
is produced in their hometown of Houston, Texas. Almost all of
the 97 cast and crew members are from the Houston area as well.
Mary Lou herself also serves as Co-Executive Producer for the
show. This is the first PBS children’s series to be filmed in
high-definition wide screen format. #
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