NOVI, Mich., Jan. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Thousands of families are gathering this week to recognize their children's good deeds and demonstrations of empathy during Celebration of Kindness events at nearly 1,000 Childtime, The Children's Courtyard, La Petite Academy and Tutor Time schools nationwide. The honors come after a nearly three-month-long Season of Kindness campaign, a key element in the partnership between 24-hour pre-school television channel Sprout and these schools, which represent the Learning Care Group's portfolio of brands.
The collaboration between Learning Care Group and Sprout emphasizes valuable life skills children need to live, play and work alongside others. The partnership aims to foster kindness and early literacy, two areas of growing importance for families nationwide.
"We strive to provide our children with a solid foundation for future success and to inspire a lifelong love of learning," said Carlene Armetta, Vice President of Integrated Marketing for Learning Care Group. "An essential part of that is developing 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 indispensable life lessons."
For the holiday season, through jointly developed lessons, activities and events, the two companies have helped young children become more sensitive to others and demonstrate their generosity of spirit by taking part in a Season of Kindness. During the Celebration of Kindness events this week, each child will receive a certificate honoring his or her kind acts from the past few months. In addition, the Berenstain Bears and Super Why and Friends from Sprout will join the festivities at several schools, where local children will meet the characters who have helped teach them about kindness and empathy.
Education experts from Learning Care Group and Sprout have teamed to find ways to engage children in opportunities to develop an understanding of empathy -- through teachable moments, by acknowledging children's good deeds and in other ways. Each school has pledged to contribute a certain number of kind acts -- collectively, as well as individually. These can include something as simple as giving a hug, getting a towel to help clean up a spill or sharing a box of crayons with a friend. Kind acts are being tracked and highlighted with Kindness Meters at each school, where children can see how each individual action adds up to a kinder school overall.
Sprout launched its Kindness Counts campaign in August 2011 and hopes to ultimately record one million acts of kindness from families across the country. While final numbers are still being tallied, Learning Care Group schools have contributed more than 52,000 kind acts to date. In addition to individual student efforts, classrooms, schools and families have taken part in community service opportunities -- ranging from visiting "Grandmas and Grandpas" at senior centers, to conducting coat and toy drives, sending letters and care packages to soldiers overseas and preparing dinner for families who are staying at Ronald McDonald House.
"Sprout is thrilled to have Learning Care Group as a partner in support of Kindness Counts," said Jenni Glenn, VP of Communications and Marketing for Sprout. "Our pro-social initiative is designed to help develop empathy in pre-schoolers by promoting small acts of kindness that matter big. Through various classroom experiences, family and teacher support tools, and local events, the children participating through Learning Care Group have been given an invaluable opportunity to understand kindness and how to be a part of a kind classroom and community."
In addition to focusing on kindness for the past few months, Learning Care Group schools have also collaborated with Sprout on efforts to build early literacy. In October they teamed on a number of Literacy Month activities. One highlight was on Oct. 6, when 63,182 children and teachers from 803 Learning Care Group's family of schools were among the 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.
Childtime, The Children's Courtyard, La Petite Academy, and Tutor Time will continue working with Sprout this year on opportunities to promote early literacy and build kindness.
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 approximately 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. For more information, please visit www.learningcaregroup.com.
Available in over 50 million homes, Sprout is the first 24-hour pre-school 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 pre-schooler 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 pre-school 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