Interactive DVD Gives Children a Head Start in Learning the Alphabet. By Jacqueline Bodnar (Syndicated News) The start of a new school year is usually a time of high anxiety for many students, including those in grades K-2. There are new routines, new friends to make, and new expectations to face. Unfortunately, some young children dread the back-to-school season and everything that comes along with it. Incredible Kid LLC, located in Hollywood, Calif. Is changing that. They have recently released an interactive learning product called the Write On! Printing DVD Tutor Kit, a combination DVD and activity book designed to help young children learn to print the alphabet while providing extensive educational value that enhances cognitive and visual perceptual skills, fine motor coordination, and visual-motor integration. The DVD guides children through a learning "adventure" - the goal being to learn how to write the alphabet one letter at a time. Standing Out From the Crowd "Write On! Follows in the footsteps of many of the current televised adventure-based learning programs," explains L.J. Mismas, the company president. "There are animated characters to help guide children, there are plot lines to follow, and there are catchy songs that accompany the learning activities. We strive to make the learning process fun so that it will hold a child's interest." Write On!, however, is unique in that it is interactive - a child can practice the skills displayed on the DVD by using the included dry-erase activity book. It is this practice of skills that ensure company officials that they have a successful product in Write On! Children become active, rather than passive learners while participating in the activities. Education professionals strive for participation in the classroom and it's something that many parents have a hard time achieving in the home. Learning through Adventure "Children learn best when they explore or take part in adventures," says Mismas. "Write On! Follows this by basing the plots on the journey of several characters through the rooms of a large mansion. In each room, the characters (along with children) are forced to solve a mystery. After solving the mystery, a key is provided and children can move to the next room." Each room has the goal of teaching a single letter of the alphabet. Children are given a verbal description of the letter being taught, followed by a visual image of the letter as it is drawn. The program also addresses aspects of learning to print such as correct posture and pencil grip. Write On! Is also unique in that it doesn't teach the letters of the alphabet in the traditional order. The program instead teaches the letters in a developmentally progressive order - the letters are introduced and grouped together based on the drawing strokes used. "Research has shown that children who already have a working knowledge of the alphabet when entering kindergarten have a much easier transition into using and understanding language as a whole. This, in turn, prepares them to excel in both the educational arena and in life," adds Mismas. The music styles on this CD are up to date with a little 'Hip hop' here and a little 'Surf Music' there, so you can play particular tracks to fit the mood. Steve Ramm, Reviewer/Columnist for 'In The Groove' magazine Ben, who is 5 says: "I like Write On! ^#^because I'm not working, I'm playing." "I can't begin to tell you how great your program truly is. Mykaila just turned six and entered the first grade and this is something that she will continue to use until she feels comfortable printing. ...Mrs. Durfee is teaching the children the importance of writing neat, accurate and fast and this program is a great tool. ...The bottom line is, I think that your program is wonderful. All of the characters are great and the interaction on the wipe off book with 'Amazing Bob' and Violets hand really helps." Thanks again, Aracy G. "Just wanted you to know that Matt watched the DVD over and over again this weekend, and used the Amazing Writer as well. We were going to give him the package for Christmas/Chanukah (we celebrate both) but he has expressed more interest in writing recently so we broke it out. My wife Jill and I were really impressed with the quality of the product and the techniques. It's really easy for a four year old to understand and follow." Steve L.