Market Overview

Libraries and Community Centers Use Games to Inspire Youth to Take Action


NEW YORK, Nov. 9, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Selen Turka, a doctoral student in the Instructional Technology and Media program at Teachers College, Columbia University, recently prepared an independent evaluation of Global Kids' Playing For Keeps Capacity Building Program, which trains educators to combine games and social issues in their work with youth.

The findings, based on 45 interviews with educators from the New York public libraries and Boston-area housing projects, revealed that Global Kids successfully prepared youth workers to inspire and guide teens to learn and create game prototypes about social and global issues.

The program gained momentum and support as an invaluable teaching tool. Elaine Charnov, Director of Education, Programs, and Exhibitions at the NY Public Library, enthusiastically praised the effort. "In addition to the rich content ranging from media consolidation to drug trafficking, students gained invaluable experience from the challenge of team learning. The thoughtful design and the dynamic teaching and training methods of Global Kids staff set a high bar for future teen courses." Jeanette Boone, of the Four Corners Community Center, Boston, reported, "The program showed how I can help kids to think wider and broader and gave me a way to rethink how to keep kids engaged, while being innovative and creative."

Playing For Keeps, one of Global Kids' most successful digital media programs, motivates youth to think critically, explore critical global issues and design their own games while increasing 21st Century skills, with support from the Surdna Foundation, the Microsoft Corporation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the AMD Foundation. Since its inception three years ago, teams of NYC urban youth have designed online games played millions of times by young people around the world. This year Global Kids expanded the program by training youth educators in branches of the New York Public Library and technology centers in Boston-area housing projects.

The evaluation process included discussions with educators to determine its effectiveness. The interviews disclosed that facilitators were able to increase many students' understanding of game content and game design while becoming more aware of social issues. Game interaction and discussions during workshops provided an engaging context to additionally explore serious global issues.

The program's most important critics are ultimately the students, who overwhelmingly responded by gaining new skills while integrating art and societal concerns in a productive, engaging, innovative and inspiring learning environment. "We wanted to design this because we didn't want anybody else to think we had the wrong idea of what genocide was," said one teen designer in New York City. "We know what it is; we know how it impacts the world. So we wanted to show it both through our art and through our game."

For more information about Global Kids' Playing For Keeps Capacity Building Program, please visit: To receive a copy of the evaluation, contact us at

About Global Kids, Inc. --

Founded in 1989, Global Kids' mission is to inspire and educate urban youth to become successful students and global and community leaders by engaging them in socially dynamic, content-rich learning experiences. Through its leadership development and academic enrichment programs, Global Kids educates youth about critical international and domestic issues and promotes their engagement in civic life and the democratic process. Through professional development initiatives, Global Kids provides educators with strategies for integrating experiential learning methods and international issues into urban classrooms. Over ninety percent of the high school seniors who participate in Global Kids' leadership programs graduate from high school.

The Global Kids, Inc. logo is available at

CONTACT: Global Kids Sofia Oviedo 212-226-2116 Barry Joseph 212-226-0130 ext. 120

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