An HITN Learning team descended upon the nation’s largest educational technology conference, ISTE, held this year in Philadelphia June 22-26. General Manager David Rust and Director, Product Management MaryEllen McLaughlin (in photo), renewed relationships with potential school marketing partners, identified new partners, and surveyed environments and products being offered to support education in PreK-8 schools. Senior Manager, Creative Innovation Lab Jackson Tam and Producer Federico Sanchez explored new horizons with Unity, the leading game engine development platform that HITH Learning uses for the Cleo & Cuquin Explore + Learn App; and the larger educational environments being developed by Google Education, and a resurgent Microsoft.
At the SIIA Education Technology Information Network/ETIN annual conference in San Francisco June 10-12, HITN Learning’s General Manager David Rust conducted a panel on Inclusive Brand Marketing, one of several following the conference theme of diversity, equity and inclusion.
SIIA ETIN is the nation’s only association of organizations providing educational technology solutions for schools and learning. Recognizing that public schools surpassed the ethnic/racial “majority minority” point in 2014, Rust—who is also ETIN board member–has co-chaired ETIN’s efforts to help member companies take steps to achieve genuine racial/ethnic inclusion in their products, people and operations. Rust’s comments used the launch of Cleo & Cuquin Family Fun! for Math to demonstrate.
The panel also included HITN Learning’s Vice President, Product Development, Erica Branch-Ridley, who presented examples from Pocoyo Playset, Fred Rogers, The Electric Company, Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues drawn from experience with these organizations. Rounding out the panel were CEO/Founder Lynzi Ziegenhagen of Schoolzilla, an Oakland-based company providing tools to interpret student data, and CEO/Co-Founder Steven Wolfe Pereira of Encantos, a Los Angeles-based provider of consumer media brands in education.
HITN Learning was happy to participate in the 2019 New York State Head Start Association’s Annual Professional Development Conference on May 30/31. The conference themed “Breaking Barriers, Building Success” was held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in White Plains, NY, and hosted close to 300 Head Start professionals.
HITN Learning sponsored the opening luncheon, which was kicked off with remarks from HITN President and CEO Michael D. Nieves and featured Keynote speaker Joyce Thomas Regional Administrator for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).
HITN also participated as an exhibitor featuring our newest fully bilingual preschool product, the Cleo & Cuquin Family Fun Math Kits, and app. Which included a guest appearance from character baby Cuquin who provided many selfie photo opportunities for delighted Head Start professionals!
HITN CEO Nieves commented, “HITN, like Head Start, understands the importance of early childhood education. This is why we’ve maintained a focus on creating bilingual educational materials for early learners. We’re proud to support the Head Start Association which continues to be an important advocate for the educational needs of New York’s youngest.”
Carolyn Wiggins, President of the New York State Head Start Association, said this of the event “The New York State Head Start Association was delighted to have HITN Learning as one of our major sponsors as well as a participant in this year’s conference. HITH’s commitment to bilingual early childhood truly resonates with our professionals. Their thoughtful and lively luncheon presentation added even more energy to a packed agenda! Their sponsorship was appreciated and certainly an asset to the professional development of our conference attendees.”
‘Cleo & Cuquin’ to participate in HITN Learning US Early Literacy Initiative
Madrid, November 2017. HITN has reached an agreement with producer Ánima Kitchent to include ‘Cleo & Cuquin’ in an early literacy initiative to help ensure kids from trans-cultural homes enter kindergarten on equitable footing with their peers.
The initiative will be managed by HITN Learning, the network’s early learning division that produces educational products. It’s based on a transmedia approach to promote early literacy among children aged four and five. HITN pioneered the transmedia approach for bilingual preschool education earlier this decade as lead partner of the Early Learning Collaborative (ELC), recipient of a $30 million Ready to Learn Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
In this successor enterprise, ‘Cleo & Cuquin’ will star in a series of mobile apps and hands-‐on kits featuring Spanish/English bilingual educational content whose purpose is to develop the parallel acquisition of two languages, and take first steps towards the math and literacy skills expected in kindergarten.
A variety of physical and digital educational formats will be launched in the US targeting public and private schools, day care and community centers, and will be available in stores beginning the second half of 2018.
Among the many positive messages conveyed, ‘Cleo & Cuquin,’ teaches young viewers about the importance of play and a healthy lifestyle. It shows children that creativity is the best way to resolve conflict and models a step by step approach to problem solving, which is why this particular transmedia brand was selected to form part of this important educational initiative.
‘Cleo & Cuquin’ (52×7’ television series) is targeted at pre‐schoolers ages four and five and features the Telerin brothers and sisters, especially big sister Cleo and the baby of the family, Cuquin. Each episode sees the little kids tackle a big adventure as Cuquin’s mischief causes conflicts or gets Cleo and her brothers and sisters into trouble, and they come up with solutions the only way kids know how: by playing! They pretend to be astronauts, gardeners, detectives, monsters or whatever they need to be to get the job done. Best of all, at the end of every episode, Cleo figures out what she wants to be when she grows up -‐ at least for that day! These demonstrations of positive social emotional interactions and problem solving skills will serve as key underpinnings for HITN Learning’s educational products.
Familia Telerin was a brief cartoon aired in Spain and Latin America in the late 60s. It proved hugely popular, as it featured a catchy song telling kids it was time to turn off the TV and head for bed, helping parents with the tricky task of settling them down for the night. The clip aired for two decades in Spain and was also broadcast in Latin America, where it featured in TV programming for many years.
With a view to rekindling this success and a clear international approach, Televisa joined forces a year ago with Ánima Kitchent, Famosa, MAI and Selecta Visión to co-produce the new transmedia brand based on the Familia Telerin.
‘Cleo & Cuquin’ has brand new scripts, updated characters and a meticulous design. As well as the TV show, the brand boasts apps like the “El Acostador” bedtime app, web content and music video clips. ‘Cleo & Cuquin launched on the Familia Telerin’s YouTube channel, and after just a year and a half its 17 music video clips have chalked up over 600 million views and 1.5 million subscribers.
HITN Learning’s product plans for ‘Cleo & Cuquin’ include a series of Family Fun Kits focusing on math and literacy concepts. The kits will offer learning concepts disguised as fun. Fun Kit components will spark learning in young minds. A series of mobile apps, inspired by the award-‐ winning (Parent’s Choice, Kidscreen) “Pocoyo Playsets” developed under the ELC grant, will provide a range of gaming, recording, and augmented reality experiences.
Toy maker Mattel recently announced that it had been awarded the worldwide Toy Master License for ‘Cleo & Cuquin’. The first line of products is set to be rolled out in Mexico in time for Christmas 2018, following the TV broadcast of the show in the North American country. This initial expansion into the international market will be underpinned by broadcasting agreements in a range of markets in the coming months, which will position ‘Cleo & Cuquin’ firmly as a strong global brand.
Ánima Kitchent CEO Víctor M. López said: “HITN, which has outstanding experience and prestige in the field of education, rounds out Cleo & Cuquin’s global strategy by further developing the edutainment component of our brand in the world’s largest market.”
“We are very excited to be working with Ánima Kitchent,” said Michael D. Nieves, President and CEO of HITN. “This partnership is a prime example of how HITN keeps pushing the boundaries to provide educational and entertaining content. Cleo & Cuquin will play a major role in the launch of HITN Learning’s next line of educational products.”
HITN Educational App “Pocoyo Playset: Lets Move” Finalist For The 2017 Kids Imagination Awards
Brooklyn, NY – HITN announced that its educational App ‘Pocoyo PlaySet’: Let’s Move has been honored as finalist for the 2017 Kids Imagination Awards, an annual awards program celebrating the best in children’s, teen and family programming across platforms, technology, marketing and pro-social campaigns.
Pocoyo PlaySet: Let’s Move is part of HITN Learning division’s suite of products that help preschoolers develop English-language skills needed for a successful start in Kindergarten. HITN’s educational app was nominated by the 6th Annual Cynopsis Kids Imagination Awards in the following categories: Mobile App Preschool, Mobile App (educational), Tablet-Based App. The winners will be announced at the 6th Annual Awards Breakfast, held on September 19 at the Yale Club in NYC.
Pocoyo PlaySet: Let’s Move app is a creation of the Early Learning Collaborative (ELC) led by HITN and including Zinkia Entertainment, the creator of the animated series, Pocoyo and the Michael Cohen Group, a leading evaluator of educational programs, funded by the Federal Government. HITN’s creative design and focus on solid academic and social-emotional skills were brought to life through the Pocoyo characters, the most beloved preschool characters in the Spanish-speaking world, and through the support of a $30 million Ready-to-Learn grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
“We’re excited that our educational app made it to the finalists’ list for the 2017 Kids Imagination Awards,” said David Rust, General Manager for HITN Learning. “We have collaborated with the industry’s best partners to develop this application, and are grateful that the judges were impressed with the richness and power of the learning experiences in the Pocoyo PlaySet: Let’s Move app.”
Let’s Move, also a recent recipient of the 2017 Kidscreen Award for Best Preschool Learning App-Tablet, creates a fun and engaging educational experience, cultivating preschoolers’ learning abilities through body movements and pedagogical games and activities, while encouraging kids to be physically active, following Pocoyo’s lead. Through Pocoyo PlaySet: Let’s Move, preschoolers build fluency in spoken English and expand their English vocabulary learning words, while also sharpening their listening skills and ability to follow directions. These integrated suites of educational resources have been proven effective through studies and pilot implementations in the USA and Puerto Rico.
All 15 Pocoyo PlaySets are available on the Apple App Store and GooglePlay.
HITN Educational App Wins Kidscreen Award for Best Preschool Children’s Learning App
Brooklyn, NY – HITN announced it was awarded the 2017 Kidscreen Award for Best Preschool Learning App. The winning app, Pocoyo PlaySet: Let’s Move, helps preschoolers develop English-language skills needed for a successful start in Kindergarten. Kidscreen Award winners were announced during the Kidscreen Summit 2017 in Miami at a special presentation February 14th.
The Pocoyo PlaySet: Let’s Move is a creation of the Early Learning Collaborative (ELC) between HITN and Zinkia Entertainment, the creator of the award-winning animated series, Pocoyo. HITN’s creative design and focus on solid academic and social-emotional skills were brought to life through the renowned and revered Pocoyo brand, and through the support of a $30 million Ready-to-Learn grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The resulting Pocoyo PlaySets provide unlimited opportunities for young children to engage in a powerful learning experience. These integrated suites of educational resources have been proven effective through summative studies and pilot implementations across the USA and Puerto Rico.
“We are honored to win a Kidscreen Award and would like to extend our congratulations to all the television and digital media nominees and winners,” said Erica Branch-Ridley, Vice President and Executive Producer of HITN’s Creative Development & Production. “We are pleased to have collaborated with the industry’s best television partners, and are grateful to Kidscreen for seeing the value and creative energy behind our Pocoyo PlaySet: Let’s Move app.”
The app creates a fun and engaging educational experience, cultivating preschoolers’ learning abilities through body movements and pedagogical games and activities, while encouraging children to be physically active, following Pocoyo’s lead. Through Pocoyo PlaySet: Let’s Move, preschoolers build fluency in spoken English and expand their English vocabulary learning words, while also sharpening their listening skills and ability to follow directions.
All 15 Pocoyo PlaySets are now available on the Apple Store and GooglePlay.
HITN-TV is the largest non-commercial Hispanic network in the United States, offering educational and cultural programming for the whole family. It reaches more than 44 million viewers in the US and Puerto Rico via DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse TV, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast, Charter Spectrum, Frontier Mediacom, CenturyLink Prism, and Cablevision.