A New Space For Stimulating Children's Imaginations

TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - This date marks an important milestone in the deployment of Groupe Média TFO's new multiplatform media strategy. For the past 25 years, TFO has been delivering quality French-language educational and cultural media content free of charge. Today, true to its educational mission, TFO is enhancing its content offerings with the launch of its Mini TFO interactive Web platform as a new, dynamic interactive space for younger children.

As Groupe Média TFO President and Chief Executive Officer Glenn O'Farrell notes, "We have built a children's television franchise that parents like. A recent U.S. study showed that 38% of all children age 0 to 8 in that country use tablet computers or smart phones, and this figure is growing steadily. According to this same study, 57% of U.S. children use tablets for educational activities."

Today, thanks to a generous contribution from the Ontario Ministry of Education, and as a way of thanking parents and teachers for their loyalty, TFO is offering a brand new Web-based enrichment experience for their children and students.

TFO monitors market trends to offer French-language educational content on a multitude of platforms that meet the needs of children and their parents. And the experience that begins at home can continue in the classroom, where teachers will find that TFO now offers a variety of activities and videos that stimulate their students' learning while following the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum.

With its new edutainment offering, the Mini TFO Web site gives younger children the chance to explore pre-school concepts through original, entertaining games. Together with their favourite TFO characters, including Caillou, Mouk, Josée, Louis, and many more, children will discover situations from daily life that are rich in emotions and filled with amazing challenges!

To develop this project, TFO has partnered with Bayard Jeunesse, a well respected name in children's educational media, with whom we share a common vision. Working with them, we have produced five categories of games—action, creation, discovery, music, and observation—that are sure to please parents, but will please children most of all.

This new site will also make it easier for teachers to meet the requirements of Ontario's new full-day junior and senior kindergarten programs.

The new site was expertly designed by Tribal Nova, a company that specializes in developing and operating educational online services, applications, and games for pre-school children. This acclaimed company markets its products and services on several continents in partnership with major players such as PBS in the United States (www.pbskidsplay.org), Éditions Bayard in France (www.bayardkids.com, and the CBC in Canada www.kidscbcwonderworld.ca). Tribal Nova is owned by its two co-founders, Guillaume Aniorté and Pierre Le Lann, along with DHX Media and Éditions Bayard.

As Chloé Benaroya, Tribal Nova's Vice-President for Consulting and Services, explains: "We wanted to let TFO leverage our expertise for the benefit of children's education. The educational resources on the new Mini TFO site are grouped into categories identified by icons or characters, so that children can easily find their favourite activities or discover new ones, according to their own interests and needs."

Linkages with Ontario's full-day junior and senior kindergarten program

Personal and Social Development
The Mini TFO site as a whole is designed to foster children's independence and self-confidence and enable them to recognize and express their own tastes and interests by navigating through the site and choosing their own activities independently. In addition, through guessing games, stories, nursery rhymes, and exploring their universe, children get opportunities to enhance their personal and social development, in particular their relationships with other people and their personal characteristics.

French
The Mini TFO site lets children explore various concepts related to the written word, such as their writing sense, as well as develop various visual skills and the ability to distinguish letters. Children's phonological awareness is stimulated by the many rhymes and word games built into the guessing games, nursery rhymes, and songs on the site, while children's abilities as beginning readers are activated by the many stories told by Mini TFO characters. More generally, using the Mini TFO site in the classroom is a great way to develop children's media skills and to encourage a positive attitude toward writing and toward French.

Mathematics
The site offers games and videos that explore number concepts and number sense, geometric concepts and spatial sense, measuring, and modelling, thus letting children play with their favourite characters while acquiring basic mathematics-learning skills.

Science and Technology
Through the site's nature videos, as well as guessing and other games, children explore life, the seasons, animals, and the environment. In particular, the program Sid le petit scientifique introduces children to the world of science.

Arts
The site includes many games and videos that incorporate forms of artistic expression such as dance, mime, the visual arts, and music, and a character named Arnaud who is crazy about notes, instruments, and singing. It also includes a series of videos on the five senses that gives children opportunities for artistic exploration.

Social Studies
The site offers many games and videos that let children explore the world around them, such as their neighbourhood and the kinds of jobs that people do. One series of videos features a child who presents a member of his or her family and the setting in which they live.

Physical and Health Education
Madame Fruitée introduces children to the basic principles of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. The parts of the body are presented in an entertaining way, and at many places throughout the site, children are invited to dance and move along with their favourite characters. Thus children's overall motor skills are stimulated through original activities.

About Groupe Média TFO
Groupe Média TFO produces and distributes quality French-language educational and cultural media content and associated supporting content to meet the needs and aspirations of its target clientele. Groupe Média TFO thus contributes to the civic and cultural development of Ontario's Francophone community and makes its content available on a wide array of media platforms. Based in Toronto, TFO is the largest producer and distributor of French-language educational products in Canada.

SOURCE GroupeMédia TFO




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