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BIG FUN Education

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services

Mission: BIG FUN Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to create and nurture education innovations that focus on student motivation, use new technologies, and achieve measurable results.

Results: In Spring 2013 a grant from the Frances R. Dewing Foundation funded a pilot of BIG FUN Education's Spanish play, Life is a Dream, in New Britain, CT. In one month 90% of the students learned 40 new words and 69% of the children reported sharing the online play with their families at home. In 2012 and 2013 grants from the Peoples United Community Foundation funded the BIG FUN Education Summer Learning League, making the games free for CT students in Grades 2-8, enrolling over 10,000 students. Since 2009 BIG FUN Education Learning Leagues have enrolled over 70,000 students

Target demographics: children in Grades K-12

Direct beneficiaries per year: school students in Grades K-12

Geographic areas served: mostly US, also internationally

Programs: an online motivational learning community which uses media to motivate, educate and entertain students while preparing them to meet the new Common Core ELA Standards. BIG FUN Education offers a series of online interactive BIG PLAYS which are digital illustrated scripts with sound tracks. BIG FUN Education also offers an online BIG SKILLS LEARNING LEAGUE which gamifies the acquisition of basic skills in math and reading.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an author and educator with over twenty years of experience in alternative education. In all that time I have never seen a more effective alternative education program as Big Fun Education. Not only does it make education fun, it inspires creativity and brings students from around the world together through its use of modern technology.

Last spring my son had the opportunity to participate in Big Fun Education's "Macbeth Goes Social" along with students from around the United States and Italy. The program inspired students to act out scenes from Macbeth, cook the food from the play, and incorporate Shakespeare's lines into a comedy routine. My son and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the fruits of their creativity. My son was then inspired to research the food of the time period on his own.

Big Fun Education's new program, "Reading Without Borders" brings authors together with students from around the world. The Hangouts on Air used by Big Fun Education provides a rare opportunity for both the authors and the students. Reading and writing are usually solitary experiences, but through programs like Reading Without Borders, people come together to learn from each other.

kevindmclaughlin

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am soon to be a volunteer with Big Fun Education completely due to the inspirational message and work that they do. Annabelle Howard is one of the founders and I became very interested in her work with Big Fun Education and how it could help children with reading. As an educator in technology, I am always looking for ways that utilise technology to improve education. Big Fun Education uses technology very effectively and successfully. In a few week I will take part in one of their 'Reading without Borders' programs that uses Google Hangout on Air as the medium to connect with its worldwide audience, and I can't wait to take part in this opportunity.

Andrew73

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I was at school life was not always FUN but I survived thanks to my pleasure in reading . So now to be involved with BIG FUN Education is a gift. I am now a granddad but I wish I had had this resource when my children were growing up. This is where adults give back in creativity to the children who always have it until it is lost the serious business of "growing up". We need to learn from the children how creativity really works - and here it does Please join in soon where education is BIG, FUN and CREATIVE

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

One word describes BIG FUN Education -- CREATIVE! Annabelle Howard is full of creative ideas that she can't wait to try. She brings out the creativity in students and teachers throughout the world. She inspires us all to explore our creative side.

BIG FUN Education is education at its best. I can hardly wait to see what Annabelle and BFE have in store for us next!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ground-breaking education: new tools, new rules, and global connections through literature. This is what our global kids need today.

susanmfinch

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I have been following the programs and adventures of Big FUN Education. They continuously inspire me and exceed what is currently available in most venues. Their passion comes through in EVERY project they initiate. I am excited to get more involved with them!

michel.reibel

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We decided to sponsor BIG FUN Education to help model its innovative activities. We offer our time and tools to design its "creativity machine." BIG FUN Education has the capacity and the potential for innovation in teaching and learning.

We believe in this project that combines conventional literacy with digital literacy.

Michel Reibel - Founder of WebKiss - THE ONLINE INCUBATOR

azlinbloor

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a former teacher and now a homeschooling mother, who volunteers with Big Fun Education.
BFE is pushing the envelope in expanding kids' literacy and with groundbreaking use of Google's Hangouts on Air, this exercise knows no boundaries as we regularly interact with children from around the world, AT THE SAME TIME!
Recently, we had a world renowned kids' author and illustrator read to children from Hawaii & Argentina in "the magic classroom", BFE's term for a Hangout on Air reading session.
This is just one example of how it promotes its current project, Reading Without Borders, that also sees one to one reading with children.
BFE has also taken Shakespeare to children from around the world with their "Macbeth goes Social" project earlier in the year.
I am looking forward to more innovative ideas from BFE and working with them!

ishanikhanna1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Big Fun Education is a dream come true! I am an educator living in the UAE. Quite by chance, about a month ago, I found Big Fun Education on Google+ and things have been different since then! All at once, I ran into a team of extremely passionate, experienced, talented and creative individuals who surprisingly, were not sitting on their high horses in spite of their successful personal lives. Instead, they were very welcoming...almost as if , we had known one another for years and quickly accepted me into the community, supporting me in every possible way to make me feel comfortable. They are real people out there with a great mission and a genuine desire to make a difference to the world of literacy, globally. This organization is providing incredible opportunities to children and teachers all around the world to see, feel and live wonderful sessions where interaction between the children and superbly creative and talented people is possible with the use of the internet and the advantages of Google Hangouts on Air. Who knew education could be so much fun, so sociable! One of their initiatives, Reading Without Borders, has been able to cross all geographic and cultural borders and bring all the children in the world into one big classroom...how fantastic is that! The impact of this is surely self explanatory. How often do we get to meet an author without having to take immense trouble? Big Fun Education is making this a reality and children and their teachers are able to share space with their favourite authors, getting a glimpse of their lives and what goes on in their world of writing or illustrating. Moreover, children all across the world are getting the invaluable opportunity of being read to them by people from different parts of the world, who have chosen to do this only because they are people for whom caring for children makes a lot of sense. Big Fun Education has opened up another avenue of being able to add a different meaning to life, of being a global citizen and spreading literacy all across the world. Kudos to Big Fun Education!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I worked with Annabelle and Big Fun Education last year when my senior English class took part in Google Hangouts and more as we studied Macbeth. The experience was amazing! Annabelle taught my students to use Google Hangout to learn from folks around the world. Big Fun Education is changing the world.

roxannriskin

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Big Fun Education 's goal is to promote literacy around the world. I am an educator- technologist who participates as a volunteer reader from the USA and see the opportunities which Big Fun Education provides and promotes as exceptional resources for any teacher in all curricular areas . Educators can choose a reader for their classes from a live broadcast called a Google Hang Out On Air (HOA), or a YouTube recording too! Big Fun Education invites educators to model global digital citizenship in a truly unique way through promoting collaboration through literacy . It most definitely is Reading without Borders!

Julie176

Advisor

Rating: 5

This group is doing very important work in stressing the importance of literature and language all over the world.

Harriet C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a teacher of English and creative writing at Yale University, Bread Loaf School of English, and Stanford University's Continuing Studies Program, I am so very impressed with BIG FUN. It's wonderful to see such creative and interactive learning happening in our schools. I'm especially excited about the uses of theater, and the encouraging openness with which Shakespeare is brought into the schools.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an educator with classroom and administrative experience and have worked in both capacities in suburban and urban communities. During my time as a principal in an urban elementary school with a diverse school population, I began my relationship with Big Fun Productions. At that time, the company had created an online set of activities designed to help prep students for the state mastery tests. They were fun, aligned with the state standards of the time, were teacher friendly, and most importantly allowed students to work AT THEIR instructional level, thus allowing for true differentiation of instruction. The addition of the learning activities by BIG FUN was the one variable in instruction and test prep. Test results improved from one year to the next. By analyzing assessment data on a cohort of students over a course of 3 years there was no doubt in my mind of the value of these activities. The founders of BIG FUN have proven their creativity and commitment to student learning over the course of the 5 years I have been professionally acquainted with them. The plays they are now able to bring into the classroom are just the tool teachers need to emphasize 21st century learning and to tap into the learning style of each student with whom they teach daily. Every student who becomes involved with a play will reap an educational benefit.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a 30-year public school English teacher with a focus on Advanced Placement courses, I have found Big Fun Education has "got it right." Big Fun Education's materials directly align with Common Core goals, build critical skills and knowledge, and engage students in learning through technology. However, Big Fun Education is unique in that this non-profit's overarching goal is to preserve creativity and the joy of learning. Big Fun Education recognizes the potential in student learning communities and in global sharing of resources; its products offer opportunities for individualized and group discovery.

Marisa A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a European mom, I came to know BIG FUN through the Internet. The idea behind this nonprofit convinced me from the beginning. Since then I was able to see it at work and was not disappointed. I only wish it would spread all over the world so more schools could benefit from it.

Also, I am proud to say I had the opportunity to work in two of BIG FUN's projects. I collaborated with a colleague who teaches in Spain and we volunteered to translate a couple of plays into Spanish. I must confess I was amazed by the dedication, enthusiasm and creativity I found in BIG FUN managers, all of it put to the service of children’s education and development. Indeed, BIG FUN was had by both of us, and we look forward to translating more plays into Spanish.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work in schools across the United States and often reference Big Fun Education's plays as a Common Core aligned resource that is engaging for students and teachers. Besides creating a wonderful resource, BFE has created an opportunity for access to text that leverages visuals, listening and speaking, and vocabulary in a way that invites children into learning versus text alone. What you have in their resources is representatives of multiple types of educational research including brain-based learning, building background knowledge, vocabulary as a process, and voluminous reading. I'm very excited by what they are building here and the teachers I work with are excited about it when I share it with them.

Stacy35

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an educator with 22 years of experience in public, parochial, and private schools, I have found BIG FUN Education's products to be both motivational and extremely effective with a diverse group of learners. My special education students, most of whom struggle with oral reading fluency, benefit enormously from being able to listen to a play while reading the script. In addition, the real-world connections and multimedia vocabulary glosses increase both background information and students' attention. Repeated readings enable my students to perform the plays with confidence.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As founder or principal officer of several non-profit organizations throughout my career I'm familiar with many of the arts, educational, and charitable entities providing services across Connecticut and the New York Metropolitan area, and having volunteered my artistic services to BIG FUN Education for their most recent offering of classic plays for young audiences I'm intimate with their objectives and resource management. In my estimation BIG FUN Education brings an exceptional wealth of talent, experience and international expertise in education and the arts to its teacher and student recipients, coupling prudent stewardship with an extraordinary contact list from their Harvard, Yale, Scholastic, American & British backgrounds in theatre, film, music, writing and education to provide young audiences and their educators with the highest level of proficiency and fluency in the classics while revising them to the target audience for accessibility's sake. Brilliant.