Sandbox Summit™ Advisory Board Announced

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Sandbox Summit, the organization created to explore how technology is affecting the ways kids play, learn and connect in today's digital world, has announced the formation of its first Advisory Board.

It is in the interest of businesses, educators, and consumers-both children and parents-to make sure that the techno-charged activities that absorb our children provide them with the kind of open-ended experiences that stimulate creative and critical thinking.

Sandbox Summit, the organization created to explore how technology is affecting the ways kids play, learn and connect in today's digital world, has announced the formation of its first Advisory Board. The announcement comes as summer, the unofficial season of play, is about to begin. Drawing from a variety of fields, the roster of accomplished professionals includes academics, educators, policy makers and toy developers. The Sandbox Summit 2008 Advisory Board members include:

Warren Buckleitner, Ph.D., Editor, Children's Technology Review; Jane Clark Chermayeff, President, Jane Clark Chermayeff & Associates, LLC; David Elkind, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Child Development at Tufts University, Author, The Hurried Child; Judy Ellis, Founder and Chair, Department of Toy Design, Fashion Institute of Technology; Jim Engle, President, Little Kids, Inc.; Ellen Galinsky, President, Co-founder, Families and Work Institute; Richard Gallagher, Ph.D., Director of Special Projects, Institute of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and Behavior Disorders; Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU Child Study Center; Stephen Gass, President, Every Baby Company, Inc.; Lisa Guernsey, Journalist and Author, Into the Minds of Babes; Andy Kaplan, CFO, DonorsChoose.org; Alexandra Kennedy, Vice President, Editorial Director for FamilyFun and Wondertime magazines, Disney Publishing Worldwide; Michael H. Levine, Ph.D., Executive Director, Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop; Scot Osterweil, Creative Director, MIT Education Arcade; Mitchel Resnick, Professor of Learning Research, MIT Media Lab; Nancy Schulman, Director, 92nd Street Y Nursery School; Joe Saldutti, President, Head Start Capital; Peggy Healy Stearns, Ph.D., Children's Software Designer and Consultant; Teri Weiss, Senior Vice President of Production & Development, Nickelodeon Preschool Television; Alice Wilder, Ed.D. Co-creator,Think It, Ink It and Publishing and Head of Research and Education, PBS Super Why! http://www.sandboxsummit.org/advisory.html

"The need for an ongoing national conversation around the influence of technology on our children became very clear at the first Sandbox Summit," stated Alix Kennedy, Vice President, Editorial Director for FamilyFun and Wondertime magazines, Disney Publishing Worldwide. "Technology has afforded a wealth of opportunities, from the educational to the social, but it has also brought a host of complications, and all if it - the good and the bad - should be understood and debated by parents, educators, and technologists."

The inaugural conference, Sandbox Summit: A Playdate with Technology, held at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) garnered industry kudos and international attention. The next conference, Sandbox Summit: The New Playing Fields, will be held on September 24, 2008 in New York City. This event will focus on the multiple platforms kids are using to play, learn and communicate in their everyday lives.

As more and more actions and interactions by and between children are rooted in technology, the way kids play and the "toys" they play with --- from babys' touch pads to sophisticated cell phones---are changing. The New Playing Fields will not only delve into the new types of play, but also debate how effectively techno-enhanced tools teach kids basic skills such as problem solving and critical thinking.

"Self-initiated play is neither a waste of time nor a luxury, but rather, a fundamental way in which children gain basic intellectual, emotional and social skills," states David Elkind, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Child Development at Tufts University, and author of The Hurried Child. "If we distort the opportunities for free play, we're depriving children of learning what they cannot acquire in any other way."

"Look in any kid's room---from the nursery to the college dorm--and you'll see how technology fills up their space," observes toy industry expert and Sandbox Summit cofounder Wendy Smolen. "Kids want and expect their toys and tools to be state of the art. We want to make sure that what we give them makes them active users of technology, rather than passive consumers."

"We've crossed the digital Rubicon," said Claire Green, President of Parents' Choice Foundation, and cofounder of the Sandbox Summit. "It is in the interest of businesses, educators, and consumers-both children and parents-to make sure that the techno-charged activities that absorb our children provide them with the kind of open-ended experiences that stimulate creative and critical thinking."

For further information about the Sandbox Summit, log on to http://sandboxsummit.org

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CLAIRE GREEN

Wendy Smolen
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