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New INSIGHTS, a Technologically-Enhanced Social-Emotional Learning Program for Children, Teachers & Parents, Wins Major Funding from the U.S. D.O.E

New Insights Puppets
NEW YORK - PrZen -- INSIGHTS into Children's Temperament – an innovative, evidence-based elementary school intervention that uses puppets and additional program materials for parents and teachers to boost social and emotional learning skills – is about to be updated and enhanced into New INSIGHTS, thanks to new Small Business Innovation funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to Dr. Sandee McClowry of INSIGHTS Intervention, LLC. The award is particularly timely given the extreme impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children's social and emotional development.

New INSIGHTS will be a technologically enhanced version of the already successful social and emotional learning intervention created by McClowry while she was a faculty member at New York University. The intervention teaches children how to interact more successfully with others and helps parents and teachers develop strategies that match each child's individual temperament. Dr. McClowry is partnering with Christopher Cerf of Sirius Thinking and with Harold Moss of FlickerLab to craft innovative and engaging educational program materials that will be universally accessible on any device.

With the validation of multiple randomized clinical trials, the original INSIGHTS has already proven successful in improving children's behavior and academic performance. The updated children's materials will feature new video content in alignment with the 10-week kindergarten and 1st grade curriculums. Each video features an endearing cast of puppets showcasing their individual personalities as they go through different problem-solving scenarios with friends, family, and teachers. Characters like Coretta the Cautious, Hilary the Hard Worker, Gregory the Grumpy, and Fredrico the Friendly are brought to life by professional puppeteers. The ultimate goal for the New INSIGHTS is to advance children's problem-solving skills by prompting them to resolve each scenario with the help of the puppet characters and a range of rich media assets, including animated storybooks, interactive games, and videos.

New INSIGHTS is also designed to provide both parents and educators with lessons that target distinct facets of children's personalities. By recognizing children's typical behavioral styles parents and teachers can better support children's development. New INSIGHTS enhances responsive teacher/student relationships and parenting skills as well. The program includes both asynchronized online lessons as well as remote facilitated sessions to give parents and educators the opportunity to apply what they've been taught in their own lessons to individual children. The children's content is also available for home use, with a user-friendly app offered for parents to access the program along with their children.

"The global pandemic has compromised the development of children. Teachers tell me that children are returning to their classrooms with limited social and emotional skills, posing severe difficulties for teaching academic content. In addition, teachers and parents also have been impacted by multiple stressors. Innovative technology presents an opportunity to provide social and emotional learning in new and engaging ways that will resonate with children and adults and provide them with the behavioral strategies they need," said Sandee McClowry of INSIGHTS Intervention.

"We're excited to be working with our long-time colleagues at FlickerLab on Sandee McClowry's brilliant New INSIGHTS project. And, equally important, we're thrilled that we'll be modifying, for use with New INSIGHTS, the unique web delivery system Sirius and FlickerLab created to make videos or games from Sirius's Emmy Award winning Between the Lions PBS series accessible, in the classroom and at home, at precisely the right moment for maximum learning," said Chris Cerf of Sirius Thinking. "This system will enable us to organize every puppet and animated video, activity, interactive game, and eBook created for New INSIGHTS into playlists so they'll be available to teachers, parents, and students – with a simple click on an easy-to-find menu – at exactly the moment it's needed."

"FlickerLab and Sirius thinking have been collaborating for over a decade, combining our video and audio production, creative writing, and graphic design and animation to create learning content that kids want to watch," said FlickerLab's Harold Moss. "It is a real honor to be bringing this experience to New INSIGHTS as we would if creating content for a hit tv show. The delightful set of characters Sandee has created gives us a great canvas to create stories that kids can relate to and engage with, thereby, providing them with the support that, as research has shown, they need more than ever."

The Center for Research and Reform in Education (CRRE) at Johns Hopkins University is conducting a study to compare the impacts of the original content with the technology-enhanced version that will be launched by this grant. McClowry, Cerf, and Moss all look forward to the continued success of New INSIGHTS, and the benefits it will bring to children and the adults who care for them.

For more information, please visit the New INSIGHTS Video Demo: https://youtu.be/Ovl1yEpDgUs.


: INSIGHTS Intervention, LLC is a women's owned business dedicated to supporting children's  social, emotional, and academic development. The company also teaches parents, teachers, and other caregivers to use responsive strategies that match each children's temperament.

About Sirius Thinking:

Launched in 1996 by John Sculley, Christopher Cerf, Norman Stiles, and Michael Frith; Sirius Thinking is a creative company that provides world-class content for educational purposes. Across different forms of media Sirius Thinking crafts educationally-driven work for a number of projects and campaigns. Their team consists of talent from well-established children's educational companies including Sesame Workshop and Nickelodeon. Through their company they are able to platform extremely skilled writers, artists, composers, directors, and more in order to create the highest quality educational content.

About FlickerLab:

Acclaimed animation and design studio FlickerLab has been producing animations, interactive experiences, and live action productions for high profile media, education, and consumer brands since 1999. From timeless works on Cartoon Network, Disney, and Sesame Workshop, to innovative designs for Comedy Central, Bleacher Report, VH1, and more– FlickerLab continues to prove the caliber of its work. Partnering with some of the largest global agencies, brands, studios, and political candidates, FlickerLab has always remained true to its mission; using creativity to platform social justice causes, learning, and environmentalism.

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Source: INSIGHTS Intervention, LLC
Filed Under: Education

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