We love what we do at LK! We make fun, safe games for kids and help nurture their character! How cool is that?! How many times have you said, “It’s a whole different world than when we were growing up.”? There are so many more things for parents to worry about and media plays a significant role.
The original idea behind Lucky Kat World was to provide parents with a safe, fun and worry-free online gaming experience. The man behind the idea was Joe Keenan. Joe wanted to provide kids more than just games, he wanted to provide them with a way to build their self-esteem and learn life lessons. Joe approached his friends Bert and Jane Boeckmann to help make it happen. The Boeckmann’s passion for children’s education made them the perfect partner. Joe then reached out to long-time friend and Emmy award-winning animation producer, Steve Wilzbach to lead his creative team.
The LK development team consumed all the research they could find and talked with countless parents and educators from around the country. It didn’t take long to see an emerging theme. Bullying was becoming more and more prevalent. So how could LK be part of the solution?
Bullying had long been considered a middle and senior high school challenge but with media influences, that had quickly turned into an elementary school issue as well. Think of all the humor you see on television and in the movies. Too often, it evolves around making fun of someone or putting others down to get a laugh. How do you teach a 7-year-old not to emulate that behavior when everyone is laughing, including the adults?
As the LK team made their way through some wonderful prosocial media, they realized the materials were often geared towards toddlers. There was a growing gap for elementary school children simply because the world had changed.
It was a Teacher of the Year in St. Louis, MO, who pointed the LK Team in the direction of Character Plus and their sister nonprofit, Character Education Partnership. Talk about passionate educators! The team couldn’t help but share in their excitement! The more they listened, the more excited they got! Your character is who you are. It’s part of every decision you make. It’s your signature; it’s your life’s resume! Kids love video games and games are a great way to learn and retain information. Everyone was excited to get started!
The key was to find a way to engage kids so they’d want to stay and play but also teach them invaluable life lessons along the way. That led them to even more research that showed prosocial media directs affects a child’s real world behavior. If done correctly, the LK games and activities could make a positive impact on children.
The team brought in some of the most amazing individuals who wanted to give families that prosocial experience. The LK team called it a labor of love. Countless people volunteered their time and expertise including the Late Dr. Mikel Harry, co-creator of Six Sigma and Dr. Madonna Murphy, educator and author specializing in character education. D.A.R.E. Officer Steve Abercrombie enlisted the help of hundreds of students to test our games and activities so we could create the best content possible and Character presenter Retro Bill (Bill Russ) gave of his time and talents as he introduced us to children around the country. Educators from all over jumped on board and began helping them find the right mix. Their goal was to make good character cool!
They designed the LK experience for kids and their families, so why involve so many educators? Simple! They wanted the LK character building activities to be meaningful and make a difference. The fun little surprise was that grandparents were enjoying the website too!
But the bigger surprise came when a school counselor from Tennessee called to say she was using the website with her students. She wanted to know if we offered a school subscription so all her kids could participate. Shortly after that, the LK team started receiving more and more calls from educators and finally a recognition program said they had been recommended for an educational award.
The team explained they were an edutainment site for the family, not an educational site for schools. Much to their surprise, the representative began listing all the educational elements they reviewed on the site and insisted LK qualified as educational. The team wasn’t sure they wanted to go down that path. Their goal from the beginning was to give parents a safe, fun place for their kids to play at home. Could they make this work for both? They ultimately took a page of our own character book. The LK message to kids is that character plays a role in everything thing you do. That doesn’t change whether LK is played at home or in school. So with the help of some wonderful educators, the LK team added checks and balances to the user’s experience and created a way for teachers to track a child’s meaningful progress on the site. And this year, LK is launching printed support materials.
So whether your children are playing in Lucky Kat World at home or in school, the goal is the same. LK wants to help them build the best life resume possible and have fun in the process! If playing in LKW helps your children improve their character, then it’s a good day for LK!
From our LK family to yours, we look forward to seeing you in the Lucky Kat World of good character!
President, Lucky Kat World