Research-Proven Habits for Children in PK-2 brought to life by Rugrats producer

Los Angeles, CA Monday, June 2- The Institute for Habits of Mind and WonderGrove Studios launched a new series of instructional animations based on the renowned 16 Habits of Mind, developed by Drs. Art Costa and Bena Kallick. Their groundbreaking collaboration with WonderGrove Studios Co-Founder Terry Thoren, former CEO of the Rugrats Company, led to the creation of this unique teaching and parenting tool that empowers creative and critical thinking for success in school and life.

The Habits of Mind Instructional Animations are an important initiative to help children build character and dispositions for learning.  Research shows that young children form strong emotional relationships with animated characters, and using engaging characters to model behavior improves children’s learning of concepts. Parents, educators and teachers will have a revolutionary new way to help children learn how to persist, listen with understanding and empathy, manage their impulsivity, and thirteen other essential dispositions.

“Since Art Costa and I introduced the 16 Habits of Mind more than 28 years ago, we’ve been seeking new ways for children to learn and practice these essential dispositions. When we met Terry Thoren, the famed producer of Rugrats, we were immediately struck by his passion for bringing the 16 Habits of Mind to life through animation,” stated Bena Kallick, Co-Director, Institute for Habits of Mind.

The Institute for Habits of Mind and WonderGrove Studios partnership brings together two powerful education innovators dedicated to helping children reach their full potential as students and as global citizens. Each instructional animation includes 20 related extension lessons that teachers, educators and parents can use to reinforce the Habits of Mind. All materials are available in both English and Spanish.

“Animation has no borders, and children across the world will quickly fall in love with the lifelike animated characters who will make it fun to learn and practice the 16 Habits of Mind,” stated Arthur L. Costa, Co-Director, Institute for Habits of Mind.

The Habits of Mind Instructional Animations and lessons can be purchased as an annual subscription online here. They are available as a web license or in a spiral notebook packaged with the animations on a DVD or on a USB drive.  At present, a one-year website license is available for $60. After September 1, 2014, the annual subscription rate will increase to $90.


About The Institute for Habits of Mind

The Institute for Habits of Mind was founded by Bena Kallick and Arthur L. Costa, who have published many articles and books on the Habits of Mind, and have worked internationally to create a more thoughtful society. The Institute is dedicated to transforming schools and workplaces in to learning communities where the Habits of Mind, dispositions that empower creative and critical thinking, are taught, practiced, and infused into the culture. The Institute’s vision is to create a more cooperative and compassionate generation of people who skillfully work to resolve social, environmental, economic and political problems.  For more information, please visit


About WonderGrove Studios

WonderGrove Studios was founded by former “Rugrats” CEO Terry Thoren and famed software producer Rudy Verbeeck. WonderGrove Studios works with various organizations to develop strategies and animated content aiming to affect children in a positive manner. They have also created their own education website,, which inspires children in Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade to realize their full potential. provides parents and teachers with a well-rounded selection of animated learning episodes to help children prepare for the daily challenges of life both inside and outside of school. uses engaging animated characters immersed in fun stories to target eight crucial areas of growth essential for every child’s success. These areas include Social Skills, Life Skills, Health & Science, Safety, Nutrition, Fitness, Creative Play, and Academics.  For more information, please visit


Responsive Classroom Wins Two Independent Publisher Book Awards

The Language of LearningDoing Science in Morning Meeting Take Gold & Silver Medals


Turners Falls, MA—Two new books from Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc. (NEFC), developer of Responsive Classroom,®  a research-based approach to integrating high-level academics with social-emotional learning, have been awarded gold and silver medals in the Independent Publisher Book Awards (“IPPY” awards).


The Language of Learning: Teaching Students Core Thinking, Listening, & Speaking Skills took the gold medal for first place in the Education I (Workbook / Resource) category while Doing Science in Morning Meeting: 150 Quick Activities that Connect to Your Curriculum took silver in the same category.


Conducted annually, the Independent Publisher Book Awards honor the year’s best independently published titles from around the world. The IPPY awards program is open to all members of the independent publishing industry and to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market. Roughly 2,000 publishers participate annually, and this year there were almost 6,000 individual book entries.


Responsive Classroom’s Director of Publications and Communications, Mary Beth Forton, and Associate Director Alice Yang accepted the medals at the awards ceremony in New York City on May 28, 2014.


“All of us at Responsive Classroom are thrilled to receive not only one but two IPPY awards in a single year,” says Forton, noting that “recognition of the high quality of our resources benefits children by spreading the word about the Responsive Classroom approach and getting practical resources into the hands of even more educators.”


Each of the award-winning titles, Forton remarks, offers teachers valuable strategies for achieving key learning goals. “The Language of Learning is especially relevant today. Strong communication skills are so key to school success in the 21st century and age of the Common Core. This book shows how to weave the teaching of these skills into lessons throughout the day.


“And Doing Science in Morning Meeting helps teachers get students excited about science. Starting the day with lively and engaging group activities focused on science not only primes students for science learning later in the day but fosters a lifelong sense of wonder and inquisitiveness about the world.”




The Language of Learning: Teaching Students Core Thinking, Listening, & Speaking Skills

Margaret Berry Wilson

Paperback, 216 pages, $24

Copyright 2014, Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc.

ISBN: 978-1-892989-61-1


Doing Science in Morning Meeting: 150 Quick Activities that Connect to Your Curriculum

Lara Webb and Margaret Berry Wilson

Paperback, 222 pages, $25

Copyright 2013, Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc.

ISBN: 978-1-892989-58-1





The not-for-profit Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc. (NEFC) was established in 1981 by elementary school educators who envisioned a way of teaching that would bring together academic and social learning throughout the school day. That way of teaching, called the Responsive Classroom approach, is a research-based approach to elementary education that is associated with greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate. It has been recognized by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as one of the most well-designed, evidence-based social and emotional learning programs. NEFC offersResponsive Classroom on-site consulting services to schools and districts; workshops and institutes for educators in locations around the country; and numerous books, videos, and other resources for teachers and administrators.


For more information, visit


ASCD Executive Director Dr. Gene R. Carter Announces Retirement

Alexandria, VA (6/2/2014)—ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, has announced that Executive Director and CEO Dr. Gene R. Carter will retire after a 22-year tenure as the association’s leader. Dr. Carter will step down effective June 30, 2014 and will assume the title of Emeritus Executive Director.

During his tenure, Dr. Carter led ASCD’s international expansion, advocating for the whole child and healthy school communities on a worldwide level. Additionally, under Dr. Carter’s leadership, ASCD grew the association’s professional development programs, products, and services, including publishing capabilities, conferences and institutes, and digital offerings.

“On behalf of everyone in the ASCD community, I want to thank Dr. Carter for his time served and for all of his contributions to the education field,” said Becky Berg, ASCD’s President. “Dr. Carter’s visionary leadership over his 22-year tenure has strengthened ASCD’s position as a valuable resource for educators around the world and a model for associations everywhere.”

A native of Staunton, Va., Dr. Carter earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia State University and his master’s degree in educational administration from Boston University. He earned his doctorate in instructional and curricular practice in 1973 from Teachers College, Columbia University. Before joining ASCD, Dr. Carter served for nine years as the superintendent of schools in Norfolk, Va.

“Although I have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure at ASCD and especially the opportunity to work with countless committed individuals over the past 22 years, I am anxiously looking forward to assuming the status of Emeritus Executive Director and, most of all, beginning the next chapter in my life with my family, friends, and colleagues,” said Dr. Carter.

The ASCD Board of Directors met and appointed Judy Seltz to the position of Acting Executive Director. Seltz previously served as Chief Constituent Services Officer and Deputy Executive Director and will lead ASCD during the transition period.

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 140,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit