SAN ANTONIO – June 26, 2017 – Today at ISTE 2017 Cricket Media launched CricketTogether, a unique, innovative eMentoring platform that helps teachers create independent learners by combining powerful writing tools, compelling content and access to role models. By matching carefully-screened, caring adult role models with students 1:1, CricketTogether creates a safe environment where students get guidance from and build friendships with their eMentors, learn from content that interests them, and receive coaching from their teachers along their learning paths.
CricketTogether is now live with a growing community of students, adult mentors and teachers from across geographic and demographic boundaries reading, writing about and discussing high interest content, in many genres and subjects, with each other.
The company is inviting teachers at ISTE 2017 and others from across the country to apply to take their students in grades 3-5 on this new learning adventure during the 2017-2018 school year. Sponsored by corporations who encourage their employees to become mentors, acting as experts and role models, the program is free for teachers to use with their students.
Leveraging Cricket Media’s extensive portfolio of award-winning children’s content, CricketTogether sparks student engagement with real-life application of reading and writing. During the course of the school year, a third grader in Washington, D.C. might read and learn about the environment and share his perspectives in writing with a civil engineer in Philadelphia or a fifth grader in New York City might read about artificial intelligence and then discuss the creation of smart robots with a software developer in Silicon Valley.
Students participating in a CricketTogether pilot earlier this year felt empowered and motivated to push their communication skills to higher levels in order to engage with the program. One student said, “I love that I can be honest with my pen pal and tell him my dreams.” Another commented on the access to remote experts and role models, remarking, “I like that you get to talk to other people, not just classmates, friends or family. Sometimes they are even in other states."
Nina Zolt, founder of Cricket Media, said, “CricketTogether takes our mission of maximizing educational equity and teacher empowerment through digital media to a new level. Building on what we have learned from more than 20 years of experience offering students and teachers the opportunity to combine great content with access to caring adult role models, this new platform creates an environment in which students are more motivated to learn as they discover life beyond their neighborhoods, exploring potential careers and interests. This learning experience is fully digital and accessible 24/7—managed in the cloud in a manner to provide safety and security for students, along with the ability for schools and districts to scale quickly and efficiently.”
Students in Jennifer Warren’s fifth-grade class at Sugarland Elementary in Loudon County, Virginia, participated in the CricketTogether pilot. She said, “Writing is a powerful tool. The better writer you are, the better reader you are. CricketTogether gives students an avenue to write real, authentic writing.”
Laura Polizzi, third-grade teacher at Hamilton Elementary School in Moline, Illinois, who also piloted CricketTogether with her students, shared their enthusiasm for the experience. She said, “My students went crazy when I told them their pen pals wrote back to them! It was awesome to see them so excited.”
The Great Courses, the nation’s leading developer and marketer of premium-quality media for lifelong learning and personal enrichment, sponsored the CricketTogether pilot, with 25 of its employees serving as eMentors to the students. Commenting on the experience, Kevin Manzel, director of content development, said, “Our overarching goal was simple: to offer a meaningful opportunity for philanthropic engagement to our associates. We needed that opportunity to both fit into our busy schedules and especially to support our mission: to empower lifelong learning. We got 100 percent plus ROI. CricketTogether fulfills our mission and was very meaningful – this was a homerun!”
CricketTogether will be featured in the Cricket Media booth #2561 at ISTE 2017, June 25-28, in San Antonio.
ABOUT CRICKET MEDIA Cricket Media, Inc. is a global education company providing award-winning content and safe and secure collaborative learning networks. Cricket Media’s 11 popular media brands for toddlers to teens include Babybug®, Ladybug®, Cricket® and Cobblestone™. Cricket Media promotes education equity through its free global community, ePals, and CricketTogether™, its 1:1 eMentoring program safely combining Cricket content, caring eMentors, and a powerful collaborative learning platform. Cricket Media serves 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 http://www.cricketmedia.com.