International Puppet Clearinghouse
The INTERNATIONAL PUPPET CLEARINGHOUSE is designed to help the teachers, counselors and volunteers who use the power of educational puppetry to get the help they need to initiate a puppet program or revive and refresh an existing troupe.
Become a Member, It's Free
International Puppet Clearinghouse Founder
Barbara Aiello is the creator of The Kids on the Block educational puppet program. Thanks to their innovative scripts and characters, children all over the world have learned about differences such as autism, cerebral palsy, hearing impairment and eating disorders and have considered social issues such as physical and sexual abuse, obesity and bullying.
What They Say
I so enjoyed meeting with you and all the energy and enthusiasm that you brought to our puppeteer training workshop. I have scheduled a practice for our volunteers next week while everyone is still on fire and remembering all you taught us.
Meet Barbara Aiello
Barbara Aiello is the creator of The Kids on the Block educational puppet program. Thanks to their innovative scripts and characcters, children all over the world have learned about differences such as autism, cerebral palsy, hearing impairment and eating disorders and have considered social issues such as physical and sexual abuse, obesity and bullying.
In recent years Barbara expanded the concept of puppets as teachers with the creation of the Next Door Neighbors. These new puppet characters explain issues such as Citizenship, The World of Work and Understanding Cultural Differences.
As an award winning special educator Barbara was named a Washingtonian of the Year and she was presented with the Surgeon General’s Medallion for Excellence in Public Health from Dr. C. Everett Koop for her creation of a puppet program to explain HIVAIDS.
She has been invited to demonstrate her work before four US presidents and has visited the White House as a guest of First Lady Barbara Bush. In 1990 Barbara was invited to the Presidential signing of the Americans with Disability Act and she and her puppets have appeared on national television programs including Good Morning America, The Today Show and CBS Sunday Morning. Do date there are Kids on the Block puppet troupes active in all 50 states and 30 countries.
As Barbara returns to the world of professional puppetry, she looks forward to connecting with the talented and dedicated educators worldwide whose hard work has introduced thousands of children to important issues through the medium of educational puppetry.
Puppet Characters and Scripts
In 1977 when Barbara Aiello created “Mark Riley,” a puppet character representing a child with cerebral palsy, “Mark” was the first of a legacy of educational puppet characters called The Kids on the Block, designed to help children understand and appreciate disabilities and differences.
Over the years, Barbara worked with national and international organizations to develop characters and scripts that captivated audiences, allowing children to learn and ask questions about difficult topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, and childhood depression and differences such as epilepsy, autism, childhood cancer and many more.
It’s been more than 40 years but the puppets have never grown old. In fact, Barbara created a new group of puppet characters, “Next Door Neighbors,” to teach about social issues such as citizenship, the world of work and respect for senior citizens.
Now with the creation of the INTERNATIONAL PUPPET CLEARINGHOUSE groups around the world can get the help they need to continue their important work.
Your FREE IPC membership includes two new scripts of your choice from the two groups below
Scripts available today:
Preventing Child Physical & Sexual Abuse – with puppets Joanne and Stephen, or with puppets you currently own.
Alternatives to Violence – with a teenage puppet character and a younger friend
OR A Basic Disability Program Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Visually Impaired, Hearing Impaired, Emotional Difficulties, Acting Out.
NEW scripts will be available shortly. They include:
Getting the Help You Need
Recently Barbara has received questions from existing puppet groups, new puppet groups, dormant puppet groups and groups who want to start a puppet troupe. It is in response to these overtures that the INTERNATIONAL PUPPET CLEARINGHOUSE was born
The INTERNATIONAL PUPPET CLEARINGHOUSE is designed to help the teachers, counselors and volunteers who use the power of educational puppetry to get the help they need initiate a puppet program or revive and refresh an existing troupe.
The INTERNATIONAL PUPPET CLEARINGHOUSE is a membership organization that gives you access to the information you need to initiate and grow your educational puppet program. Barbara Aiello, creator of The Kids on the Block and Next Door Neighbors, has first hand knowledge and years of personal experience to share with you and your puppeteers. She is ready to help you with your questions and concerns such as:
How do we train puppeteers?
How can we get revised scripts?
How can I start a new group?
How can I get new scripts?
What is the best way for us to approach the schools?
How do we answer kids’ questions? Are they any special techniques?
We need a coordinator. What should we do?
Our puppets are old, some are dirty and all need some repair. How do we proceed?
The schools and groups we perform for want to know how the puppets got started? What can we tell them?
How do we get new puppets?
We found puppets in a box. Who are these characters? How do we get scripts?
Become a member of the International Puppet Clearinghouse
IPC MEMBERSHIP IS NOW FREE
Given the challenges of COVID, we’ve decided to offer all of our members an extended FREE MEMBERSHIP. We plan to offer workshops and consulting free of charge and new and revised scripts at a minimal cost. And, we plan to expand our workshop series – an IPC offering that has been extremely well-received. So watch this space for more information and to all of our IPC members and friends, thank you for your support and encouragement. We look forward to serving you in the months to come.
You individually and/or your group or organization can become members of the INTERNATIONAL PUPPET CLEARINGHOUSE – a membership that will offer you materials and methods, new scripts and support that will allow you to strengthen and expand your work.
Your INTERNATIONAL PUPPET CLEARINGHOUSE MEMBERSHIP offers you the following important benefits:
- A 45 minute PERSONAL CONSULTATION with Kids on the Block creator, Barbara Aiello. Prior to your telephone meeting, you and your group can determine the help you need via a detailed questionnaire so that you can make best use of your time.
- Subscription to a QUARTERLY IPC NEWSLETTER featuring successful puppetry methods, tips for coordinators, and history of the Kids on the Block and Next Door Neighbors so that you can share the efficacy of the programs and the research that supports their development.
- TWO NEW SCRIPTS OF YOUR CHOICE – You can select from a list of script topics that are timely and innovative.
- WORKSHOPS, conferences, in person and video trainings.
- DISCOUNTS on puppet repairs
- DISCOUNTS on cleaning and refreshing your puppet
- DISCOUNTS on new scripts and new puppet programs
- ASSISTANCE in finding missing scripts and dormant puppet programs – connecting you with groups that have the materials you need.
- ACCESS to a Members Only Facebook page so that you and your group can share with puppet troupes around the world.
As creator and founder of Kids on the Block and Next Door Neighbors, Barbara Aiello is dedicated to supporting the amazing effect that these puppet characters have on the children who experience these performances. The non-threatening environment inherent in the art of puppetry coupled with the skill and compassion of dedicated volunteers combine to give children an opportunity to learn about some of society’s most difficult topics.
“I am so pleased to bring new life to the puppets I’ve created and I look forward to working with all of you.” Barbara Aiello
With your membership you will have access to Kids on the Block puppets and Next Door Neighbors puppets founder Barbara Aiello and several of the original performing and educational research staff members – all at a discounted price – who will work with you to bring greater vitality and more success to your puppet programs.