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Archive: November 2013

Meet the Community Manager, Dannie Price

Last week Usborne Publishing published a blog post about my role at Teach Your Monster to Read. I thought i’d share the post with our fans too.

Teach Your Monster to Read has been created by a small, expert and dedicated team. My role within the team is Community Manager.

As Community Manager I talk to the parents and teachers of our young players and keep up to date with our audience. I help them with their queries and feedback and gain insight into how we can improve the game and the user experience for everyone.

Above: Me at my desk!

I run fun competitions, such as the latest ‘Dress Your Teacher or Parent as a Monster’ – where we’ve had some fantastic (but scary) entries sent in.

Above: Crawfordsburn Primary School dress up their teachers for Halloween.

I search, read and share relevant articles and news stories that our audience may find interesting. These articles could be about teaching, education, parenting, gaming or even just some monster facts (we love monsters at Teach Your Monster to Read)!

I also curate our Monster Pinterest page which features many monster related games and activities for children.

As Teach Your Monster to Read is a web based game, a lot of my work is done online, through blog posts, Facebook, Twitter, online forums, email and the Teach Your Monster to Read website. However, I also go out and about to educational conferences and Teachmeets throughout the year.

When the games go out to schools for testing, I also get meet our young players in person and hear their thoughts about the game, I even get to see some of their monster impressions!

Above: Our players and their monsters at Royden Primary School.

Above: Binyaameen at Snowsfields Primary School, testing the game.

The audience for the game is truly international – we have players in countries such as Spain, Hawaii, New Zealand and China. We learn a lot about the game from our players and I’m proud to say that the feedback we receive is very positive.

Our players LOVE the game!

Above: Arabella and Naeem enjoying Teach Your Monster to Read.

Above: Two of our US fans designing their monsters.

On a last note, I’m delighted to say that Teach Your Monster to Read has been nominated for a Children’s BAFTA. Fingers crossed for the announcement on 24th November. What a great honour for the team!’

For more information about Teach Your Monster to Read, you can contact me here [email protected] or find us online.

Winning monster costumes!

We had some fantastic entries to our Dress Your Teacher or Parent as a Monster competition last month – including headless heads, creepy zombies, monster mummies and devillish dads!

Thank you all for entering the competition.

Our judges, Ceri Williams and his student, Jack came to a nail-biting decision last week.

They decided to award the winning prize to Bryan Clark and his 3 sons for their amazing recreation of H.P Lovecraft’s monster Cthulhu.

Congratulations Bryan and the boys! You will receive £150 worth of Usborne books of your choice.

Here’s what Ceri said about the competition:

“We thought all the entries were absolutely fantastic and lots of hard work went into the costumes but in a photo-finish, Jack thought the fabulous Alien just about edged it.”

Runners-Up

Our runners-up have been decided too and £75 worth of Usborne books will each go to Lisa Waugh for her terrifying Zombie and to ‘monster mummy” Emily Morris.

Congratulations Lisa and Emily!

Thanks to everybody who entered the competition. We had a brilliant time looking at all the marvellous costumes. To look at all of the monster entries, go to our Facebook gallery.

They’ll be another competition early next year so watch this space!

BAFTA Nomination… WOW!

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced the nominations for the 2013 British Academy Children’s Awards last month and we’re delighted to say that Teach Your Monster to Read: First Steps has been nominated in the Children’s Interactive category. What a great honour and reward for the game!

Teach Your Monster to Read was launched by the Usborne Foundation, a charitable fund set up by Peter Usborne and his children, Nicola and Martin, to support initiatives to develop early literacy.

The Children’s BAFTA ceremony will be held on Sunday 24 November 2013 at the London Hilton in Park Lane. The ceremony will be presented by Jake Humphrey.

Teach Your Monster to Read may win the BAFTA (that would be a lovely bonus!) but at the end of the day the team is really proud that Teach Your Monster to Read has proved successful, is really helping children learn to read and that they LOVE playing it.

Here’s the list of all the Children’s BAFTA nominations. http://awards.bafta.org/award/2013/childrens

I was stunned to see how much they enjoyed this. It blew me away.

Matt Lovegrove, Cippenham Primary School

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Why Play?

  • Covers letters and sounds to reading full sentences.
  • Designed in collaboration with leading academics.
  • Computer version is 100% free.

FAQ

Why is the computer version free?

The game has been funded by the Usborne Foundation, a charity set up to support initiatives to develop early literacy.

Our mission is to help as many children learn to read as possible. The computer version is 100% free and we put profits from the app back into the Usborne Foundation, to continue to create new and exciting ways for children to learn.

The charity was founded by Peter Usborne MBE and his children, Nicola and Martin, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He was previously one of the founders of the magazine Private Eye.

What age is it for?

The game is for children in the first stages of learning to read, or for older children who need a bit more practice. Read more details about the three games.

How do children learn from the game?

The game takes children on a magical journey, meeting colourful characters along the way and collecting fantastic rewards. When children are engaged, they’re motivated to learn.

As they progress, they rehearse a range of essential reading skills; matching letters to sounds, blending, segmenting, tricky words and reading full sentences.

Find out exactly what the game covers.

Will it work on my device?

The game runs on any normal laptop or desktop computer (including Apple Macs) and the app works on iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle tablets.

Who are The Usborne Foundation?

Peter Usborne is the founder and Managing Director of Usborne Publishing, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He was previously one of the founders of the magazine Private Eye, and was recently awarded an MBE for services to publishing.

Testimonials

"I was stunned to see how much they enjoyed this. It blew me away."

Matt Lovegrove,
Cippenham Primary School

"The kids absolutely love this game - and they're learning!"

John Hole,
Wray Common Primary School

"This is a fun and engaging way to help your child learn to read. My son warmed to the game quickly and didn't want to stop playing it!"

Sarah Fox,
mum to Leon aged 5

This is a fun and engaging way to help your child learn to read. My son warmed to the game quickly and didn't want to stop playing it!

Sarah Fox, mum to Leon aged 5

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