Entertainment » Vol. 8

Woogi World

Bringing Books and Kids’ Virtual World Together To Get Kids Reading

By Stephanie Williams

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“We’re excited to be part of this unique approach to enticing children to spend more time reading books,” said Diane Naughton, Vice President of Marketing at HarperCollins Children’s Books. “By melding the publishing industry with a popular children’s virtual social site, we can create a new level of interest in reading, and thus capture even the reluctant reader’s attention.”

The Club launched on Nov. 18 of ‘08 and hopes to be the catalyst to kids falling in love with books and reading. A basic club membership features an online version of a public domain children’s classic (such as Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki Tikki Tavi). An upgraded club membership for $7.95 a month entitles children to receive age-appropriate popular titles on a monthly basis, provided by the three participating publishers. The first books offered are The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary (HarperCollins Children’s Books), and The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John (Walden Media). Penguin will follow with The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danziger. Children will be able to play chapter-oriented games and level up as they “pass off” each chapter of the current month’s book.

True to Woogi World format, where all online clubs employ an expert in the subject matter who guides activities and encourages advancement (Woogi World “leveling up”), the WoogiReaders Club will rely on Palace. The introduction of this inter-galactic club guru was one of the highlights of the national November launch.

“Combining the resources of HarperCollins Children’s Books, Walden Media and Penguin (along with the reach of the Internet via Woogi World) means more children will have access to the best books available,” said Scott Dow, CEO of Children’s Way, the creator of Woogi World. “Our partnership with these leading children’s publishers makes it possible for Woogi World to ignite this generation of children with not just a love of reading, but, we believe in the long run, a love of learning.”

As with all Woogi World virtual clubs, children must apply for membership by first completing Woogi World’s Internet Basic Training (where they learn how to stay safe in cyberspace). The application process also involves writing a brief paragraph as to why they want to join the club.

www.childrensway.com, www.woogiworld.com, www.harpercollins.com, www.penguin.com

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