As we all know, children have vivid imaginations, often creating whole worlds around their pretend play. While they’re not really in the ballet or catching bad guys or racing cheetahs, imaginative play helps prepare them for real and active participation in the world.
Each One Globe Kids story is designed to stimulate the reader’s global imagination. It’s impossible for most of us to take our children around the world for them to make friends, to learn about other cultures and languages and new ways of doing thing. But One Globe Kids helps us to do just that – it makes international friendships feel possible and paves the way for them to be real in the future.
We don’t know where our children will be in 20 years. But we do know that in our increasingly inter-connected, globalized world, the ability to interact with a diverse range of people is an amazing asset no matter who you are or where you live.
One Globe Kids believes that the skills and confidence needed for global interaction can be encouraged from a very young age. Our series aims to do just that.
Interactivity means you can engage with something. The One Globe Kid series is designed to encourage children to engage as much as possible with each new international friend, given the language, distance and age constraints that exist. It is not a social media platform, but a story platform.
Here are a few examples of how children can interact with their One Globe Kids friends:
There is no right way to share OGK with children. As anyone who interacts regularly with children knows, you can discuss the same topic many different ways, especially as a child grows and has an increased ability to understand complex topics. OGK was designed for children, including those too young to read by themselves. It is fully narrated and includes simple icons so users can easily navigate the series without help.
We do recommend visiting each friend together with your child at least once because it enhances your ability to discuss what your child has seen and learned. You can then reinforce the global benefits of the series by drawing simple connections between their lives, such as how both Laith in Bethlehem and your son like to play soccer, for example.
Older children may be more interested in discussing specific things they see in the images, or more advanced topics such as "why must he travel so far to get to school?" or "why isn't there always electricity?" One thing we love about this series is how it makes these types of topics approachable while imparting a positive, open, and non-judgmental view of our world.
We have found that children independently return to the stories and interactive features of the series when given "iPad time," so using it alone or with an adult is possible (and encouraged!).
As is often said, the world is a small place. To keep the stories as intimate, real and accurate as possible, we rely on personal contacts to find children and families who want to participate. This does not mean that we know people in every country, but that through friends and family we are able to find people who can introduce us to people in each country.
One Globe Kids aims to include children from every continent, from North, from South, from East and from West, and also to show the diversity that exists within each country. To highlight this, the series tries to include one boy and one girl with different backgrounds from the same country. This could be different living or socio-economic situations, different religions, different ethnicities, living in different parts of the country, etc.
It’s impossible to capture the full diversity of a country or of the globe, but we’re trying.
Many of us remember being shocked by the love young children have for the “100 First Words” books, with their pages and pages of photos of objects, people, and animals, and no text beyond the object’s label – tractor, couch, dog. How boring! Or so we thought...
As a child, when you’re just learning about the world around you and haven’t experienced or even seen most things, photos help you do just that.
In the One Globe Kids series, photos, more so than drawings, give readers a feeling of being close to the children they meet – their expressions, where they live, their families – providing an intimacy that illustrations cannot. Combined with a story told from the child’s perspective and with a child’s voice, the photos make that child as real a friend as possible.
Imagine a foreigner coming to you and asking to follow around your child and take photos of them for a book series that you’ve never heard of – and you must communicate through a translator. Only parents who believe it’s important for their own children to know more about the world and see the value in this type of project would even consider participating.
The children and families in the One Globe Kids series decided to share their lives with those around the world because they believe it’s important for us all to know more about each other. Depending on the child and family’s situation, an education scholarship or other honorarium may be provided to thank them for their help in fostering global understanding among the world’s youngest inhabitants.
While we firmly believe in the power of learning more about each other and sharing across all borders, One Globe Kids also believes it must be done in a way that is safe for children. Protecting children's privacy online is the responsability of all of us. This is one reason that One Globe Kids is not a social media platform and does enable actual contact between users.
One Globe Kids Apps and Online Friends are certified by the kidSAFE® Seal Program. The kidSAFE® Seal Program is an independent certification service and seal program that reviews and certifies the safety practices of children-friendly websites and applications, including kid-targeted game sites, virtual worlds, social networks, PC and mobile apps, web-connected devices, and other similar online and interactive products. Click on the seal or go to www.kidsafeseal.com for more information.”