LeapFrog Canada

LeapFrog Canada

June 24, 2008 06:00 ET

Young Readers Kick Off LeapFrog 1 Million Reading Hours Literacy Campaign With Next Generation Reading System

LeapFrog re-invents learn to read category with Tag Reading System

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 24, 2008) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press

This summer students could lose their hard-won academic skills earned during the school year. A recent report by the Canadian Council on Learning on Summer Learning Loss, states that during the summer students typically lose on average the equivalent of one month of instruction. In an effort to keep Canadian children learning and reading over the summer, LeapFrog Canada launched their 1 Million Reading Hours literacy campaign for children today.

Along with their parents, children can pledge to read 15 minutes a day over the summer, with the goal of generating 1 Million Reading Hours in Canada. The 1 Million Reading Hours program is designed to help reduce the number of children who leave elementary school without the literacy skills required to succeed in higher grades.

"We've pledged to help Canadian children stay engaged with the page this summer," said Gord Terry, General Manger, LeapFrog Canada. "Reading just a few minutes a day can go a long way in building a child's enthusiasm for learning. With their pledge, parents can make this a storybook summer with their children."

More than one hundred young readers from the identified under represented and high priority areas of the Greater Toronto Area will kick off the campaign at the Indigo flagship store at Bloor and Bay Streets. The children will participate in a story time and will contribute 25 reading hours to the 1 Million Reading Hours goal set for the entire nation.

"We are delighted to participate in this project which reinforces our commitment to helping children develop a love of reading," said Heather Reisman, CEO of Indigo Books & Music Inc.

Throughout the summer LeapFrog Canada will be working with schools across Canada in addition to hosting several literacy themed events. Participants can pledge towards the 1 Million Reading Hours goal online at www.leapfrog.ca. Schools representing several provinces, including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan, have already committed to 1 Million Reading Hours campaign.

Reading Between the Lines

To facilitate this campaign and to encourage the love of reading, LeapFrog has introduced new learn-to-read technology called the Tag Reading System. The Tag handheld works with Tag-enabled books to create an independent and interactive reading experience for children. By simply touching the highly responsive Tag reader anywhere on any page of a Tag book, children can bring their favorite stories to life, easily skipping from page to page or book to book.

The pocket-sized Tag platform "reads" by using a small, sophisticated infrared camera that works as an imaging system to recognize letters, words and symbols printed on the page. Using the PC- and Mac compatible LeapFrog® Connect Application, parents can download audio for each book in the Tag library, then manage content the way they manage MP3 or digital camera files. With 16 MB of on-board flash memory, the Tag reader can hold up to five books at a time.

"As a pioneer in electronic learning, LeapFrog is proud and uniquely qualified to announce delivery of the next big innovation in the learn-to-read category: the Tag Reading System," said Gord Terry, General Manger, LeapFrog Canada. "The Tag handheld is an entirely re-invented learning product designed for a new generation of young readers. Since it comes from LeapFrog, parents can trust that it provides rigorous educational value and years of fun."

All-New Proprietary LeapFrog Learning Path Lets Parents See the Learning

Launching in tandem with the Tag Reading System is LeapFrog's proprietary Learning Path, a free online tool that interfaces with LeapFrog products to show parents what their child is learning and how their activities or games map back to the scope and sequence of educational skills that LeapFrog has always built into every product. New online connectivity also allows children to access fun online rewards for offline play and learning.

The LeapFrog Learning Path allows parents to connect the Tag handheld to their computer to view details about the books their child has read, including the skills explored and progress made.

Beloved Classics and Favorite Characters Come to Life

The Tag Reading System works with a diverse 18-volume library of children's classic books such as Olivia and The Little Engine that Could, as well as activity storybooks with characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Diego. For the Tag library, LeapFrog has partnered with publishers HarperCollins, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic and others to showcase beloved characters such as Fancy Nancy, Walter the Farting Dog and Miss Spider.

AVAILABILITY

SUMMER 2008; AGES 4-8; Tag Reading System MSRP: $59.99; Tag Books and Activity Boards MSRP: $14.99 each

About LeapFrog Canada

LeapFrog Canada is a subsidiary of LeapFrog Enterprises Inc., a leading designer, developer, and marketer of innovative, technology-based learning products and related proprietary content, dedicated to making learning effective and engaging for all ages, at home and in schools, around the world. The company was founded in 1995 and is based in Emeryville, California. LeapFrog has developed a family of learning platforms that come to life with more than 100 interactive software titles, covering important subjects such as phonics, reading, writing, math, music, geography, social studies, spelling, vocabulary, and science. In addition, the company has created a broad line of stand-alone educational products for children from birth to 16 years. LeapFrog's award-winning products are available in six languages at major retailers in more than 35 countries around the world

LeapFrog Canada began operations in 2002, with offices in Oakville, Ontario. LeapFrog Canada has received more than 30 awards and accolades for its products, including recent awards: 2006 Canadian Toy Testing Council Energizer Toy of the Year: FLY Pentop Computer, Children's Choice Award: Learn-Around Playground and Today's Parent Seals of Approval for Little Leaps Grow-With-Me Learning System and Bilingual LeapStart Learning Table. More information about LeapFrog Canada and its award-winning product line-up is available at www.leapfrog.ca.

About Indigo Books & Music Inc.

Indigo Books & Music Inc. (TSX:IDG) is a publicly traded Canadian company and the largest book retailer in Canada, operating bookstores in all provinces under the names Indigo Books Music & More, Chapters, The World's Biggest Bookstore and Coles. Indigo operates www.chapters.indigo.ca, an online retailer of books, music, DVDs and toys.

In 2004, Indigo founded the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, a registered charity that provides new books and education materials to high-needs Canadian elementary schools, to address the literacy crisis in Canada. Visit loveofreading.org for more information.

In 2006 and 2007, the Company qualified as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers in a survey run by Mediacorp Canada. The 2007 Kubas Major Market Retail Report named Indigo and Chapters the number one and number three retailer in Canada respectively. To learn more about Indigo, please visit the About Our Company section of www.chapters.indigo.ca.

Contact Information

  • Temple Scott Associates for LeapFrog Canada
    Miranda Germani
    (416) 360-6183 Ext. 238 or Cell: (416) 882-4711
    Email: mgermani@tsa.ca
    or
    Temple Scott Associates for LeapFrog Canada
    Paula Morrison
    (416) 360-6183 ext. 226 or Cell: (416) 707-7431
    Email: paula@tsa.ca