| include("chicagomain.inc"); ?>
A HISTORIC EVENT NOT SOON TO BE FORGOTTEN
One thing for sure, this was an experience like no other! It began with a train ride... A train ride you ask? Yes, a Amtrak train ride from Los Angeles to Chicago with a whole new perspective of Seasons Greetings. Rev. James G.W. Fisher, A.K.A. The Toy Man® and two of his staff were aboard an Amtrak train from Los Angeles to Chicago, with a plentiful wealth of games, toys, and other goodies which they were demoing and giving away to passengers en route to Chicago!
THE EXPERIENCE AT THE SCHOOLS
- Jesse Sherwood Elementary
The wonderful excitement and active Play which was experienced by the passengers of the Amtrak train ride, spread to Jesse Sherwood Elementary School on the first, second, and third days of the event series. The start of first day was delayed a bit in starting due to circumstances beyond our control while en route to Jesse Sherwood Elementary, yet The Toy Man® still arrived and got the ball rolling for the event series.
Together with Joseph Balcuk, from (Precision Mathematics Corp.), The Toy Man® was able to work with all of the classes, teachers, and parents as well, demonstrating the various products and how to learn from them. Mr. Balcuk spent an extensive period of time sitting down with faculty from Jesse Sherwood Elementary, explaining to them the unique contribution that his game, Meet The Merbs - The Spoils of Civilization, (Classroom Adventure Pack) has to offer as part of the curriculum.
The folks from Liberty Street Games, (one of our sponsors), the creators of "Bailout The Game", were able to be present for only a brief time on one of the days at Jesse Sherwood Elementary. Their game was more suitable for the age group of the middle school we were visiting the next day. Liberty Street Games was however primarily responsible for our having OfficeDepot™ as a sponsor for PROJECT: Education Outreach™ - Chicago.
As each day passed, there was nothing like the joy of seeing the students having so much fun in learning while in active Play with the products provided by the sponsors of PROJECT: Education Outreach™ - Chicago. These products provided a plethora of content from which the children could be having fun while learning simultaneously.
Some of the favorites for the students at Jesse Sherwood Elementary were Citiblocs, (wooden planks to stimulate creative skill and motor skills), and Jishaku, (a fast paced a quick learn game which takes magnetism to an entirely new level), and Comet - the fast path to learning, (learning about spelling, vowels, and grammar), and MathTutor DVD, (total immersion learning for numbers 1-10.)
A bountiful collection of educational games, and toys were given to these two schools and many of their students with the help of our PROJECT: Education Outreach™ - Chicago sponsors. We even had a "Whiplash Scooter" for students to get a hands-on experience with. The Whiplash Scooter has become a popular item when it comes to physical education in some schools. As as fitness instructor I spoke to was so quick to express, "This scooter provides a safe yet fun experience for the students. It not only helps them in coordination and muscle skill development, but also in burning calories safely!"
What was especially beneficial to both the kids, parent, and teachers, was the resources provided by Time 4 Learning. http://www.time4learning.com and http://www.spellingcity.com. Thanks to the folks at Time 4 Learning, the kids and parents have a valuable free resource for education in spelling and for teachers and parents, http://www.time4learning.com provides a monumental addition to assisting them in their teaching kids online with a very intutitive and simple interface.
On report card day at Sherwood Elementary, The Toy Man® and some of his sponsors were present to work with the parents and kids directly. Parents and kids were able to get hands-on evaluation of products with many of them to take home. Parents and children were able to give their own personal feedback on each product at the event which will enable the developer's of these products to see how they can bring their products to an entirely new level from the candid feedback. This was a historical experience that is just the beginning of many to come at other schools across the nation. and it all started in Chicago at Jesse Sherwood Elementary School!
- Madero Middle School
The excitement was aplenty at Madero Middle School as well. At this school, we started seriously late, yet the show must go on! The active Play took place in the two classrooms with The Toy Man® and sponsor reps from Precision Math and Liberty Street Games. Of course we also had the games from our sponsors, "Bailout The Game" - Liberty Street Games, The Merbs - The Spoils of Civilization - Precision Math, - Smash or Trash - Fun Q Games, Jishaku - RSV Productions, and "Comet - The fast path to learning" - Active Minds. Each of the games provided were carefully explained to the students in how to play them. Science, vocabulary, spelling, and math were all being covered through these games.
At the Madero Middle School it was an unquestionable fact that Jishaku was the overall favorite product of the students, partly due to the simplicity with no real learning curve, with Comet - The fast path to learning and Bailout The Game coming in right behind it.
- The Goal Of Our Dedication Realized
Due to The Toy Man® arriving late, we had to start late with this portion of our event series yet you can rest assured that the period of time we were allotted with the students was maximized to its fullest potential. Considering this was our first extended version of PROJECT: Education Outreach™, just as with any other first run of a production, mishaps are bound to occur, yet that is how a program evolves to the level it is now so well recognized for. The goal of our dedication was in fact realized. We will take what we learned from this first extended event series to make our New York event series even better!
- A Lesson Well Learned
It was a painful lesson to learn but when it comes to taking a cab in Chicago. we present a word of warning. If you are not familiar with where you are going to via cab in Chicago, add an extra hour at the least on your departure time. Some, but not all cabs have a problem with "Selective Memory." These cab drivers select the directions to a destination in their memory based upon your own knowlege. (Example: When a cabbie has to use a map book to locate where you are going...well, it's too late to save your butt if you have an important function to attend.)
- Dedication To Improvement
No matter which way you look at it, our concept of PROJECT: Education Outreach began as a project dedicated first and foremost to provide an improvement in life and education for kids and families. Every program, every school district, every effort that is based upon the same or similar design has as an unquestionable commonality…We are ALL in this together for kids and their families. The beauty of the project is how product developers can now, through our program, have a mutual opportunity to help kids and their families while getting an exclusive opportunity to build branding for their products.
SPONTANEOUS HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE
PROJECT: Education Outreach™ - Chicago doesn't stop with the public schools. The spontaneous setup of tables and products unexpectedly all around Chicago provides another stimulation to buyers interests and education. They learn of products that may never have a chance to be picked up by the big store chains and discover how so many of them eclipse the quality of many of the products you see in those same chain stores.
Some of the products being demo 'd on the Amtrak train and in the schools, were also being used in spontaneous hands-on consumer evaluation on the streets of Chicago in a variety of locations. Jishaku, and Comet are two of the games which proved to be favorites creating plenty of laughs and energy while these games and others are being played even on the Chicago subway system!
This was all part of our new 7 day long PROJECT: Education Outreach™ event series. Our next event series will be in New York City, 7 days prior to Toy Fair 2010. Want to learn more about PROJECT: Education Outreach™ - Chicago or PROJECT: Education Outreach™ itself? Have any questions as to what mishaps we encountered to avoid them yourself in the future? You can reach us via our contact form or just give us a call at 702.277.7370 to get the answers you are seeking and learn about the PROJECT: Education Outreach™ event series in other major cities and our returning to Chicago next year!
PLEASE NOTE: PROJECT: Education Outreach™ Chicago is in no manner endorsed directly or indirectly by the Chicago Public Schools.
"This is just the beginning!TM"