Early Learning Collaborative Has Strong Start to 2014 with NYC Teatro SEA Partnership

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Early Learning Collaborative, a technology-based educational company for preschool-aged children, has had a successful start to 2014 with their recent partnership with Teatro SEA, New York’s only Latino children’s theater. The partnership will host their next event on March 15.

A young boy looks at his Pocoyo stickers provided to him by Early Learning Collaborative at a recent performance at Teatro SEA.

This collaboration has been a win-win situation for both organizations. With HITN's partnership we get to educate and reach a large population of Hispanic families that need bilingual resources for their preschoolers.

The Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network’s (HITN) Early Learning Collaborative (ELC) has teamed up with Teatro SEA this year to successfully bring theater into the lives of bilingual Hispanic children in New York City. The collaboration of the two organizations not only provided ‘Latinized’ performances of popular children’s plays throughout the month of January and February, with an upcoming performance in March, but has also provided all of the Hispanic families who attend with bilingual educational resources.

HITN/ELC’s next outreach event with Teatro SEA will be held on March 15, where Teatro SEA will present a bilingual puppet show titled “Legends of the Enchanted Treasure” at 3 pm at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center on the Lower East Side in New York City. Promoting the importance of early education, HITN/ELC will provide several “Playground” activities and free gifts at the event. Prior to the performance, HITN/ELC has coordinated with area community organizations to provide free ticket giveaways throughout the community to families who may have never witnessed live theater before.

“This collaboration has been a win-win situation for both organizations,” said Blanca Vasquez, Associate Producer of Community Events and Outreach at HITN/ELC. “With HITN’s partnership we get to educate and reach a large population of Hispanic families that need bilingual resources for their preschoolers.”

Last month, HITN/ELC participated in a series of three Saturday performances, where the theater offered ‘Latinized‘ performances of “Goldilocks and the 3 Bears/Ricitos y los 3 Ositos” for over 340 preschool-aged audiences. HITN/ELC utilized this opportunity to provide outreach to families about the importance of preparing children for elementary school with fun bilingual education activities. HITN/ELC provided the children with free educational material, including Pocoyo learning books.

On February 8, when Teatro SEA presented a bilingual musical of “Cinderella/Cenicienta”, HITN/ELC helped Teatro SEA distribute 60 free performance tickets to lower income, Spanish-speaking families of preschool-aged children, many of whom had never seen a live theater performance, within four different New York City communities: members of Brooklyn’s church, Iglesia Cristo Misionera; Episcopal Social Services in the Bronx; St. Francis Cabrini of Brooklyn; and through a Facebook contest.

“We had several Spanish-speaking households from different communities take advantage of the free ticket distribution for children and their parents who had never seen live theater,” Vasquez explained. “The joint effort between Teatro SEA and HITN’s ELC is ideal! We can’t wait to do it again and expand our partnerships!”

About Early Learning Collaborative:
The Early Learning Collaborative (ELC) is designed to leverage the power of technology and transmedia content to help ensure three-to-five-year-old children are fully prepared to begin kindergarten and succeed in school and beyond. The ELC initiative includes three components: digital media applications, educational outreach, and research.

The ELC is currently funded in part by a U.S. Department of Education Ready to Learn grant. The Michael Cohen Group is conducting ongoing formative and summative studies to determine the effectiveness of the materials in each of the 23 Pocoyo PlayGround transmedia sets. The ELC currently has several pilot programs in Alabama, California, Florida, Maine, Oregon, Wisconsin, New York, and Washington D. C. that are currently using the interactive and engaging Pocoyo PlayGround digital, print and manipulative materials.

About Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network:
Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN) is the grantee for the Early Learning Collaborative. Established in 1983, HITN is the first Latino non-commercial Spanish-language media company in the U.S. HITN currently reaches over 40 million households in the U.S., providing a wide range of quality programming—on TV, online, and in the community—to address its mission of advancing the educational, socioeconomic and cultural aspirations of Latinos.

About Teatro SEA:
Founded in 1985 in Puerto Rico, the Society of the Educational Arts, Inc./Sociedad Educativa de las Artes, Inc. (SEA) is a not-for-profit Latin American/Bilingual Arts-in-Education Organization dedicated to the empowerment and educational advancement of children and young adults. SEA established its New York City operations in 1993, and has been expanding its array of programming ever since. SEA’s unique integration of the performing arts and Arts-in-Education programs introduces and enriches cultural awareness and a sense of identity, especially in children.

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