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Press Release: Four Texas Districts, Schools Select PBS KIDS PLAY! to Ensure Students’ Path to Early Academic Success

Bastrop, Joshua and San Marcos Independent School Districts and Calvary Episcopal School & College Preparatory Invest in Early Education Program

MONTREAL (Feb. 7, 2013) — Tribal Nova, co-publisher of PBS KIDS PLAY! with PBS KIDS, today announced that Bastrop Independent School District (ISD), San Marcos ISD, Caddo Grove Elementary in Joshua ISD, and Calvary Episcopal School & College Preparatory selected the adaptive online learning program to help students develop school readiness skills, such as literacy and critical thinking. In addition, Aldine ISD, a Houston area district of 75 schools, has incorporated PBS KIDS PLAY! Classroom Edition into a pilot program to supplement early education classroom activities.

School readiness skills are more imperative than ever as research indicates students who can’t read at grade level by the end of third grade are more likely to struggle in school throughout their entire academic career. Struggling students are also four times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.*

Bastrop ISD, San Marcos ISD, Joshua ISD, Aldine ISD and Calvary Episcopal School are investing in strong early education programs that prepare students for successful academic careers and also introduce them to 21st century skills. The public school districts and private school selected PBS KIDS PLAY! since it aligns to TEKS and Common Core State Standards, is highly motivating for students, and supports personalized and blended learning.

The program uses interactive games, popular PBS KIDS characters and cross-curricular content to engage students in preschool, kindergarten and first-grade classrooms and computer labs. PBS KIDS PLAY! adapts the level of challenge based on students’ individual learning progress in 35 skill areas, allowing them to learn at their own pace while exploring their interests.

Bastrop ISD incorporates the program into 12 district classrooms, two daycare centers and five Head Start centers. Allison Higginbotham, a Pre-K teacher at the district’s Bluebonnet Elementary School has been using PBS KIDS PLAY! in her classroom since October 2012. Already, she has seen an improvement in language and social-emotional skills, as well as technology and computer skills.

“PBS KIDS PLAY! has been a significant asset to my Pre-K classroom,” said Higginbotham. “The program targets a variety of age-appropriate, academic skills through interactive games that allow the students to work at their own pace and ability level. My students know all the characters from their favorite PBS KIDS TV shows, and the characters keep them motivated to continue exploring and learning.”

Higginbotham explains that the program helps enhance computer and technology skills, since students must use the mouse and keyboard to engage in the games. Her students’ parents were impressed with the computer skills their children were learning from the program, and were equally pleased that the program includes home access, so their children could continue learning beyond the classroom.

The product’s new Home Access feature also enables parents to stay apprised of their child’s progress and assignments at no extra cost. Another new feature allows teachers to assign lessons and to track student progress at the individual and classroom level through an easy-to-use administration and reporting tool.

To learn more about the online learning program, visit classroom.pbskidsplay.org.

*Source: http://www.aecf.org

About Tribal Nova
Tribal Nova is a leading developer and publisher of educational programs, games and apps for young children across several platforms. The company operates the following online learning services for young children in partnership with major media partners: PBS KIDS PLAY! (PBS), CBC Wonderworld (CBC), and Bayam (Bayard). Tribal Nova is owned by co-founders Guillaume AniortÉ and Pierre Le Lann, as well as DHX Media and Bayard, both leading international producers of children’s media.

About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

Media Contacts

• Kristen Plemon, C. Blohm & Associates, 608-216-7300 x18, kristen@cblohm.com

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