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Background and Credits-Istar Schwager, Ph.D.
Founder & President, Creative Parents, Inc.

Istar Schwager, Ph.D., president of Creative Parents, Inc. advises media projects, individuals and organizations on how to apply positive psychology to realize their goals and achieve their creative potential. With her expertise in parenting and her philosophy that “parenting” has many facets, she has been a principal consultant to numerous award-winning television, interactive and print projects; has frequently been interviewed on television and radio; has written for national publications; has developed and conducted workshops; and has advised individuals on how to develop and apply their strengths.

For parents:
Istar Schwager is founder and editor of the website She was advisor to Sesame Street Parents, which she helped launch, and for which she wrote a monthly column on a range of topics. She developed the content for Children's Television Workshop's Family Living Series (including titles: Raising Kids Who Love to Learn; Raising Responsible Kids; Understanding Discipline and Raising Children in a Changing World - published by Prentice Hall.) Articles she has written have appeared in Working Mother, Parents, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Games, and Principal magazines. She appeared as a regular guest on FX's Breakfast Time Show where she and Tom Bergeron (now host of Hollywood Squares/ America’s Funniest Home Videos) demonstrated for viewers such creative activities as finger-painting, block building and puppet-making with a studio full of children. She was spokesperson for Duracell's National Toy Survey, talking to parents about child development and play, and has been interviewed on many other TV and radio programs, both national and local.
For young children:
Dr. Schwager is an advisor to Sesame Street Magazine, and has been a principal consultant to the TV series: Play with Me Sesame (Noggin), Gullah, Gullah Island, and The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss (Nick Jr.) She was the creative consultant to The Sony/CTW Kids Guide to Life Series of videos: Big Bird Gets Lost; Telling the Truth and Learning to Share. As the associate director of research for the Sesame Street series, Dr. Schwager worked with writers and producers developing content and scripts. As director of research for Sesame Workshop’s Magazine Group, she worked with editors, art directors and publishers on each issue of its monthly preschool magazine, read by over a million families, and has consulted to special issues designed to help preschoolers learn about such topics as health and money. She was consultant-author to Publications International’s Active Minds series of books for preschoolers (My Day; Colors; Opposites; Shapes; Alphabet; Numbers.) She wrote and developed materials on a wide range of topics for Family Day Care providers. Dr. Schwager has experience as a preschool teacher, developing curriculum and working closely with parents.
For tweens and teens:
Dr. Schwager has been a principal consultant to Degrassi: the Next Generation, (aired in the U.S. on the N) a scripted series for teens that addresses controversial topics and has written the online resource designed to spark discussion-- and was principal advisor to Noggin’s A Walk in Your Shoes, a reality series where teens switch places to learn what someone else’s life is like. She was a principal consultant to NBA’s Inside Stuff (aired on NBC) which focused on the positive, educational and community-oriented activities many basketball players engage in when they are off the court. She was evaluator to the national developer/demonstrator program Learning to Read through the Arts, which brought visual and performing artists into schools; and consulted to Scholastic Entertainment in their development of a line of learning games and toys.
Workshops and Classes:
Dr. Istar Schwager has designed and conducted workshops at the Parents League of New York; The West Side JCC; Rockefeller University Child and Family Center; Hunter College Campus Schools, and the 92nd Street Y. As a member of the faculty of the School of Visual Arts she has developed and taught classes on writing screenplays oriented to child audiences and about childhood themes. She has also taught teachers at Bank Street and Brooklyn Colleges.
Work with Individuals and Families:
Dr. Schwager coaches individuals to help them apply their strengths and develop their creative projects. She also works with families and other groups to help improve their interactions, often using MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) in which she is trained and officially qualified.
Dr. Schwager has a B.A. from Barnard, an M.S. from Bank Street and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where she specialized in life-long development and learning.
Other Activities:
Istar Schwager is on the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences blue ribbon panel as an Emmy judge for family programming; is a member of New York Women in Film and Television; and is a member of the advisory councils for the Moth, an organization that promotes storytelling, and for Women in Children's Media.


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Copyright© 2005, Dr. Istar Schwager
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