For most of us, the 2014-15 school year has kicked off with groaning students (in my house anyway) schlepping their new backpacks and school supplies to their classrooms to meet their new teachers. Disney’s Club Penguin is celebrating by making this month’s themed party a “School and Skate Party” that has transformed Club Penguin Island into the Club Penguin University campus, complete with a mall, a skate park and a fabulous scavenger hunt.
Before I give you the scoop on the Club Penguin transformation, I am excited to report that this particular party has a very special and unique aspect. Disney’s Club Penguin is partnering with Free the Children for a “Build a School for Back to School” charity event and will build three real world schools in India, Ecuador and Haiti for underprivileged children. From September 18th through October 1st kids can log into Club Penguin and participate in a scavenger hunt to help out. Club Penguin will also donate 14,000 backpacks across the US on behalf of players. Players that want to further give back can apply for the Club Penguin Matching Gift Program, which will give a total of $25,000 in matching grants this year to student leaders that fundraise on their own to help build a school in a Free the Children community. To find out more about the ‘Build a School’ program, visit: http://www.freethechildren.com/clubpenguin/.
As a result of the generous in-world actions kids have made over the years, Club Penguin has helped an excess of one million people in more than 42 countries by funding projects such as:
- 22 schools built for over 20,000 children
- 40 school libraries built for over 50,000 children
- 33 playgrounds for over 85,000 children
- 35 clean water projects for over 55,000 children & families
- Youth engagement & education programs around the world for over 1,000,000 children & families
This is an excellent opportunity for our kids/penguins to become aware of world issues that children in other countries are facing. While school can certainly seem like a burden, it is actually a hoped-for privilege to children in other parts of the world. Yeah, it is a pretty heavy topic but Disney’s Club Penguin has found a stealthy way to raise awareness in our children while they enjoy playing Club Penguin.
Now, on to the details of this pretty radical party!
You may be aware that Rookie is the official mascot for Club Penguin’s school themed events. My mascot is Dcookie 888. He is my 10 year old son, Dean, who plays Club Penguin and reports back to me with his thoughts.
A new skate park has been constructed with a sick half-pipe where Penguins are donning pro-helmets and flashy new skater threads while carving until their hearts are content. Do not be alarmed, “sick” is a way of paying a compliment to something that is well… cool. There are even stairs with rails so penguin-skaters can practice grinding with their new boards that they collect during the scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt quest for the back to school party is all about cleaning up the school after Rookie makes a big mess while he prepares to throw a grand back to school party. Players are directed to different areas to “clean up” by clicking on items that are causing mayhem and safety concerns everywhere. Spilled paint, sandwiches and science beakers – someone will get hurt if we don’t pick it all up! During the scavenger hunt, players are rewarded with new skateboards, skater threads, pro-helmets and even a school house igloo! Schoolhouse furniture items and skater clothes are also available in the new September catalogs. Check out Dcookie888’s new schoolhouse igloo that he has decked out with new computer desks and puffle beanbags.
The Puffleberry Mall, located next to the Pet Shop is THE place to go for school shopping, or maybe just riding the escalator. Puffles are reportedly finding cool dorm room items, including a retro lava lamp for their igloos.
Dean enjoyed the scavenger hunt, Skate Park and especially the schoolhouse igloo. Somehow, sending his penguin, Dcookie888 back to school took a little bit of the sting out of getting up early again after a long, sweaty summer filled with Disney World days, swimming and playing video games here in Central Florida. I took a minute to explain to him that although education should be available to every child in our world, it is not – but with the help of great charity events such as this one, we might get a little closer to that goal.
Below, Information about the Club Penguin Matching Gift Program in partnership with Free The Children