WASHINGTON, DC—August 2, 2016 – Cricket Media, a next-generation global learning company, today announced the launch of its 3rd Annual Global Folklorist Challenge in partnership with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The challenge, open to kids eight to eighteen worldwide, asks participants to examine a local or regional tradition by interviewing a community tradition bearer and creating a video or slide show to share the story.
Cultural traditions students might explore range from dance, games, and handicrafts to cooking, storytelling, customs, distinctive jobs, and more. Comprehensive supporting materials reinforce real- world folklorist skills by defining terms, providing examples, tips, and organizational tools, and walking students through professional interview and story-shaping processes. Participants also have access to professional folklorists at the Smithsonian.
“The Folklorist Challenge is one of the most exciting programs we offer here at Cricket Media,” says Cricket Media CEO, Stephanie Sharis. “It’s gratifying to engage kids from around the world and encourage them to explore what’s special about their country, their heritage, and their communities. And of course, we are delighted to be working for a sixth year with the team at the Smithsonian to design these and other original and motivating Challenges.”
Accompanying teacher or parent materials include lesson plans, global collaboration opportunities, a standards-alignment chart and scoring rubric. The process reinforces a range of 21st-century skills, including the use of digital technologies, and U.S. and international social studies, language, and interdisciplinary curriculum standards.
“The global folklorist challenge invites children to see their communities in new ways and to actively participate in preserving traditions for later generations,” says Michael Atwood Mason, director of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. "We know this collaboration extends the reach of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to engage millions of students in cultural heritage around the world.”
The challenge deadline is November 30, 2016, with winners chosen by a panel of Smithsonian and ePals judges. Among the prizes for student winners whose entries best demonstrate the folklorist process of investigation and reporting are digital cameras, box sets from the Smithsonian Folkways collection, a Little Passports World Coin Collection, and more. For details and a submission form, visit: challenges.epals.com/folklife2016/the-challenge/.
About Cricket Media
Cricket Media (TSXV: CKT) is an education media company that provides award-winning content on a safe and secure learning network for children, families and teachers across the world. Cricket Media’s 11 popular media brands for toddlers to teens include Babybug, Ladybug, Cricket® and Cobblestone®. The Company’s innovative web-based K12 tools for school and home include the ePals community and virtual classroom for global collaboration as well as In2Books®, an award-winning eMentoring program that builds reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Cricket Media serves approximately one million classrooms and millions of teachers, students and parents in over 200 countries and territories through its platform and NeuPals, its joint venture with China’s leading IT services company Neusoft. Cricket Media also licenses its content and platform to top publishing and educational companies worldwide. For more information, please visit www.cricketmedia.com.
Rooted in principles of cultural democracy and social equality, the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage supports the understanding and sustainability of cultural heritage and diversity in communities across the United States and around the world. The Center produces the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, maintains and makes accessible the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, produces extensive research and educational materials, and promotes cultural heritage policy for the benefit of communities around the world. For more information about the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, visit folklife.si.edu.