Dizzywood Branches Out
YMCA of San Francisco Selects Dizzywood’s Virtual World to Enhance
Technology Program for Kids
Youth pilot program uses Dizzywood’s virtual activities to help members develop self-confidence and a sense of responsibility to others.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – July 23, 2008 –Dizzywood, a virtual world and online game for children ages 8-12, today announced that it has been selected by the YMCA of San Francisco to enhance the youth program’s technology curriculum.
The YMCA is using Dizzywood’s virtual environment to reinforce its program emphasis on activities that promote values such as caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Children also learn about important issues relating to virtual worlds, such as digital citizenship and online safety, as well as complete storytelling and team-building exercises that emphasize creativity, writing and reading skills, and working together to achieve goals.
The YMCA program is similar to the elementary school program that Dizzywood recently completed with the Reed Union School District (Marin County, CA). The highly interactive workshop, which ran from April through June, used virtual activities to reinforce the school’s character pillars, which include caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness, among other core values.
“Our goal at the YMCA is to provide children with educational activities that challenge them to learn new skills, develop self-confidence and to ultimately help them be successful in the world,“ said Troy O’Leary, senior director of community programs at the YMCA of San Francisco. “Dizzywood’s unique virtual environment offers our kids a wonderful environment in which they can learn important lessons through activities that require thoughtful decision-making. We hope the success of this program offers a model for other youth programs to follow.”
The partnership reinforces the findings of two recent studies of elementary school students conducted by UC Davis. The studies observed that children find ways to transform their experiences with technology into fun, highly organized group activities and that technology-based activities can be explicitly designed to foster social reflection and advanced planning among young children.
“We are thrilled to be part of such an exciting and nurturing environment for learning,” said Scott Arpajian, co-founder of Dizzywood. “We believe virtual worlds offer limitless potential for children to learn positive behavior, values and to prepare them for a workforce that now demands digital creativity.”
Dizzywood will be sharing addtional details about the school and YMCA pilot programs on September 4 at the Virtual Worlds conference in Los Angeles, as well as at the Sandbox Summit in New York City on September 28.
Dizzywood is free to use. Subscriptions will be available to access premium content in the future.
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