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Summer learning gap?
“THE GREAT WORD QUEST”
PBS and The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) have announced the launch of The Great Word Quest, an innovative new feature of the PBS KIDS Raising Readers Web site (visit http://www.readytolearnreading.org; as well as http://pbskids.org/read/).
This site provides literacy games for children ages six to eight. The Great Word Quest allows kids to play learning games with characters, themes and ideas from favorite PBS KIDS GO! television programs THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, WORD GIRL, and MARTHA SPEAKS.
The Great Word Quest is introduced just in time to combat what is known as the “summer learning gap,” the general loss of academic skills during summer vacation.
Says Rob Lippincott, Senior Vice President of PBS Education,
PBS knows learning doesn’t stop when children leave the classroom at the end of the day; it continues beyond the end of the school year. We want to provide an inviting and exciting — yet educational — platform for kids to engage with throughout the year.
This new Web project takes kids on virtual adventures designed to scaffold and improve core literacy skill development. Joining one of three teams — the Aquanauts, Trailblazers or Skyscrapers — players advance through literacy-based scavenger hunts to earn words that they can then use to play games and create their own silly stories.
These activities help kids strengthen critical reading skills, such as phonics, reading comprehension, and vocabulary.
Perhaps most importantly, a Progress Tracker charts a child’s progress for parents and teachers and provides customized activities that help make reading a part of everyday life.
The Great Word Quest builds on the success of PBS KIDS Island, a literacy-focused site for preschoolers, launched in Fall 2008.
The Senior Vice President of Children’s Media at PBS, Lesli Rotenberg, says
We know that when kids are engaged, they learn. That’s why The Great Word Quest teams kids together in a scavenger hunt, sparking their interest in learning new words and developing reading skills that they can use in adventures beyond the screen.
PBS worked closely with leading early childhood experts to develop The Great Word Quest. They include Dr. Julie Wood, Ed.D, advisor for PBS KIDS Island and WORDWORLD, and Maria Salvadore, who is Reading Rockets advisor and a professor at the University of Maryland.
Activities are based on cutting-edge research on how children learn to read, the role of electronic media, and what works in classroom and home settings.
PBS KIDS is directed at preschoolers; PBS KIDS GO! is for early elementary school kids. They offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs.
These programs offer positive role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being.
Family and educator resources include the PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! television series, http://www.PBSKIDS.org , http://www.PBSKIDSGO.org , PBS Parents (http://www.PBSPARENTS.org) and PBS Teachers (http://www.PBSTEACHERS.org).
PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s nearly 360 public television stations, serving more than 124 million people on-air and online each month.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967; they are stewards of the government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1100 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide.
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