Learning Care Group Teams with Sprout® to Champion Literacy and Kindness

NOVI, Mich., Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Learning Care Group is working hand-in-hand with 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout to engage children in reading and to promote kindness – two areas of growing concern for families nationwide.  The partnership between North America's second-largest for-profit early education provider and Sprout emphasizes valuable life skills children need to live, play and work alongside others.  

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"At Learning Care Group, we strive to provide our children with a solid foundation for future success and to inspire a lifelong love of learning," said Stacy DeWalt, Chief Marketing Officer, Learning Care Group. "It starts with developing early literacy as well as building an understanding of kindness and respect for others.  We're so excited to work with Sprout and to have the characters children love help us teach these indispensible life lessons."  

Both companies value real-life learning techniques, using the familiar framework of a young child's day, relationships and experiences to create learning opportunities in everyday moments.  During the coming months, Childtime, La Petite Academy, Montessori Unlimited, Tutor Time and The Children's Courtyard – schools in the Learning Care Group's portfolio of brands – will focus closely on literacy and kindness through lessons and activities involving material developed along with Sprout.  Meanwhile, the Sprout network will air ads featuring each of the Learning Care Group brands, introducing them to Sprout viewers.  

Learning Care Group Joins Jumpstart's Read for the Record

Learning Care Group celebrates its Literacy Month in October, working with Sprout on activities that highlight early literacy.  On Oct. 6, children and staff from Childtime, La Petite Academy, Tutor Time and The Children's Courtyard will join more than 2 million people across the globe to set a world record for reading the same book on a single day: "Llama, Llama Red Pajama" by Anna Dewdney.  Led by Jumpstart – a national early education organization – Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign aims to mobilize adults and children to close the early education achievement gap by setting a reading world record.

In addition to the in-school readings, later that evening, "BabyShrink" Dr. Heather Wittenberg, a licensed child psychologist and mother of four children, will read the book live on Facebook at three convenient times: 7:30 p.m. ET, 7:30 p.m. CT and 7:30 p.m. PT.  Follow this link to participate: http://bit.ly/mV07Ty

Visit Jumpstart's website to learn more about how your family can get involved in Jumpstart's Read for the Record: http://bit.ly/nlvg1m

Kindness Counts

As a society, we recognize that more emphasis is needed on helping children develop social and emotional skills.  Studies show growing concern over bullying as a problem.  According to a Harris survey of more than 1,000 parents nationwide, 67% of parents with children 3-7 years old worry that their children will be bullied (NY Times, October 2010.)  By helping children grasp the idea of empathy—being able to understand the experiences, feelings and ideas of another person—we can make them more sensitive to the importance of kindness.

Now through December, teachers at Childtime, La Petite Academy, Montessori Unlimited, The Children's Courtyard and Tutor Time will engage children in opportunities to develop an understanding of empathy.  Education experts from Learning Care Group and Sprout have teamed to find ways to provide extra focus on the idea of kindness—through teachable moments, acknowledging children's good deeds and in other ways.  

Additionally, Sprout aims to record one million acts of kindness as part of its Kindness Counts campaign.   Your family can help Sprout reach one million acts of kindness by recording your children's acts of kindness at http://kindnesscounts.sproutonline.com/.

About Learning Care Group, Inc.

Headquartered in Novi, Mich., Learning Care Group provides early education and child care services to children ages 6 weeks to 13 years under its umbrella of brands: The Children's Courtyard, Childtime Learning Centers, La Petite Academy, Montessori Unlimited and Tutor Time Child Care/Learning Centers.  Learning Care Group operates more than 1,000 schools (corporate and franchise) across 36 states, the District of Columbia and internationally, and has a system-wide capacity to serve 156,000 children.

About Sprout®

Available in over 50 million homes, Sprout is the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for children ages 2-5 and their parents and caregivers.  The 24-hour digital channel, which launched in September 2005 along with the website (SproutOnline.com), is the only channel that follows the day of a preschooler from breakfast to bedtime with its distinctive, interactive programming and original hosted blocks.  Sprout's VOD offering is the #1 on demand service for younger children with over one billion views. 

Sprout is a partnership among NBCUniversal, HIT Entertainment, PBS and Sesame Workshop.  Its program lineup of gold-standard, curriculum-based preschool shows includes: Sesame Street®, Bob the Builder™, Barney & Friends™, The Wiggles®, Thomas & Friends™, Caillou®, The Berenstain Bears™, Roary the Racing Car™, dirtgirlworld and more.

SOURCE Learning Care Group, Inc.



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