KAPD, LLC Launches First Curriculum-Based Program Teaming Students, Parents and Teachers In The Learning Process

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Kids Across Parents Down launches a parent involvement program that helps kids, parents and teachers come together to create a learning synergy geared toward literacy and student achievement.

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Kids Across Teachers Down offers a rare opportunity for students to experience their teachers as teammates and peers and to accelerate achievement of curriculum goals in a team environment.

Best known for its #1 ranked, nationally syndicated Kids Across Parents Down (KAPD) collaborative family crosswords featuring across clues for kids and down clues for parents, KAPD, LLC recently debuted Kids Across Teachers Down (KATD). KATD is the classroom complement to the company’s widely popular KAPD family activity, which has been picked up by publications ranging from "The Washington Post" to the "Los Angeles Times" to the "Anchorage Daily News" and national publications, such as "Kidsville News!" and Nickelodeon's "Nick Jr. Family Magazine." KAPD has received numerous requests from teachers who, hungry for parental involvement, regularly adapt the weekly newspaper feature and book series content for classroom and home use. Still, however, they craved curriculum-based puzzles, which prompted KAPD to launch the Kids Across Teachers Down program to extend the adult/child collaborative formula into the classroom.

Delivered through online content, KATD offers an opportunity for teachers to generate excitement through class vs. class competitions and school vs. school tournaments. At the same time, students benefit in some very important ways, including: (1) creative development of broad language and vocabulary, (2) augmentation of critical thinking skills and (3) increased social skills stemming from interaction with adults and peers. When used in tandem with KAPD, KATD leverages a synergy that propels a child’s potential to grasp literacy, critical thinking skills and test-taking acumen. The latter benefit has proved particularly critical, conditioning students to strategically skip and then return to challenging clues.

“We are excited to offer teachers across the country a unique, fun and effective new way to teach – one which ignites the learning process through a blend of collaboration and competition,” said Jan Buckner Walker, creator of the unique puzzle concept. “Kids Across Teachers Down offers a rare opportunity for students to experience their teachers as teammates and peers and to accelerate achievement of curriculum goals in a team environment.” The company believes KATD will prove an especially powerful tool as families will be able to enjoy the KAPD iPad app, slated for launch this spring.

Kids Across Teachers Down was featured in an article in the January 2013 issue of the New Jersey Education Association newsletter, which detailed its positive impact in the recent pilot in New Jersey public schools. Janet Fusco, a fourth grade teacher at Van Zant Elementary School in Marlton, NJ, said, “I found the curriculum-based puzzles to be very useful and engaging. I especially like that students can connect and recall prior knowledge while working together.” She also noted that the students solved some of the more challenging teacher clues, which bolstered their sense of confidence. One student commented that the puzzle “helps with our spelling and even math skills as we have to count the spaces to help solve the clues.”

A product of Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools, Jan is a journalism graduate from Howard University. She subsequently earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she was editor of the school’s Law Review. As an attorney in Chicago volunteering with the Cabrini Green Tutoring program, she conceived of an early version of KAPD in an effort to motivate a disaffected second grader whom she tutored for over a year. Jan now lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, Reginald.

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