NEW YORK (Feb. 28, 2007)–A growing amount of research, including the study published in Psychological Science in July 2000, indicate that students´ prosocial skills have a significant impact on academic achievement. In addition, teachers view character education as an important tool for helping students participate in society in a meaningful way. To that end, Pokémon USA, Inc., has added new topics to Pokémon Learning League that focus on relationship-building, prosocial behavior and bullying prevention. The online educational suite of animated, interactive lessons in language arts, math, science, and life skills for grades 3-6 is aligned with state and national standards to support teachers and reinforce classroom lessons.

Increasingly, education leaders are focusing on educating the whole child, an approach that embraces a full curriculum to address all areas of children´s development. Educators must find ways to address students´ emotional and social development in the classroom, not just the counselor´s office. School counselors are stretched thin. According to the American School Counselors Association, the average ratio of students to school counselors is 488-to-1.

Pokémon Learning League´s engaging and innovative lessons offer educators a supplemental resource to reinforce prosocial skills, which students need to maintain healthy relationships, cope with challenging situations and succeed in school and in life. Comprised of a narrative tutorial (watch), guided practice (try) and an interactive challenge (apply), each Pokémon Learning League lesson delivers a supportive and scaffolded learning environment for students.

Teamwork, one of the new life skills topics added to Pokémon Learning League this month, is an important skill all students need in the classroom, in sports, in school organizations, and later, in the workplace. Through an interactive lesson, students learn along with the Pokémon characters that by having a positive attitude and working together they can achieve better results. Additional topics added this month include Making Friends and Bullying.

"In addition to direct instruction, it simply takes practice and cycles of meaningful feedback to change deeply engrained habits, such as how we respond to conflict, set goals, or eat nutritionally," stated Laura Parker Roerden, former director of publications for Educators for Social Responsibility and an advisory board member for Pokémon Learning League. "Pokémon Learning League is particularly well-suited to help children develop a toolbox of skills they can use to make healthy choices in their lives. The topics offer children a unique opportunity to acquire these new skills through a medium that is both relational and private enough for children to take risks in their learning that they might feel uncomfortable taking in front of peers. Pokemon´s familiar characters help to create both a sense of safety and intimacy necessary to do this work. Additionally, the skills that are being developed in school can more easily be translated into skills used and reinforced in the home."

The Pokémon themes of sharing, collaboration and helping others are also woven into academic lessons in math, science and language arts. Pokémon Learning League´s mission guides are diverse characters that serve as mentors to students, leading them through the lessons and demonstrating positive attitudes and life skills such as cooperation and perseverance. Students and the Pokémon characters work together to solve academic challenges.

The program is available to schools, households, and after-school programs through paid subscriptions. For more information, visit www.PokemonLearningLeague.com.

About Pokémon USA

Pokémon USA, Inc., a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and the Pokémon Trading Card Game outside of Japan. This includes licensing, marketing, an animated TV series, home entertainment, the official Pokémon website, and online retail center pokemoncenter.com. Celebrating its 10th worldwide anniversary in 2006, Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 for play on Nintendo´s Game Boy® and has since evolved into a global cultural phenomenon. Pokémon was introduced in North America in September 1998 and today is one of the most popular toy and entertainment properties in the world.

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