• Around Town: Cackleberries in SM Megamall

    Edutainment just got an upgrade at this new buzz-worthy birthday party and school tour destination.
    by Stephanie F. Esguerra .
  • Much has been said about the negative effects of a generation that has become increasingly immersed in technology—from television, portable video game consoles, to smart phones and tablets. But since we ourselves know how indispensable these functional gadgets are, can we really blame children if they find themselves just as enticed?

    Related articles:

    Kids and TV: What Parents, Teachers and Doctors Say 

    Pediatricians Issue Warning against Use of Tablets by Young Kids 

    The key, then, is to make use of technology to meet our young one’s needs, while still establishing a sense of connection to the physical (and non-digital) world. 

     

    A new form of ‘edutainment’

    Cackleberries, an edutainment company from Vancouver, Canada, and the first of its kind in the Philippines, offers such a balance. Eronne Foster, Cackleberries’s president, CEO, creative director and founder, saw the need to help the underprivileged through an alternative educational system for parents and schools back in the day when she would adopt street children and take them under her care.

    ‘Cackleberries’ comes from the slang term ‘cackleberries’, used in the 1950s to refer to eggs.
    “We care about children,” explains Emmanuel ‘Noel’ Rubio, chief operating officer (COO). “Because a lot of children right now are hooked on gadgets, we do the opposite. We provide games and activities, but everything is aimed at educating and entertaining the kids. There’s music, there’s art, there’s everything that a preschool learner would need. We define ourselves as the partner of parents and schools in nurturing and developing children. Cackleberries is a collaboration of child educators, psychologists, animators, and illustrators.”

    Stepping into the Cackleberries center is enough to arouse any child’s curiosity, what with 30 egg-shaped chairs adorned with colorful characters, computers and colorful illustrations on the walls.  “The egg chairs are very catchy,” emphasizes Rubio with a smile. “Everyone wants to have their picture taken with the [featured] characters.”

    Cackle Berries

    What would appear to be a child-friendly computer shop to the regular passerby is actually an enriching learning center for -- but not limited to -- kids between the ages of three and six years old. 

    “This is done through the easiest way: through games, activities,” says Rubio. “If you teach children, there must be a high entertainment value. You have to be very, very creative.”

    “What’s great about it is that it’s highly interactive, [and] a child will discover things in the program that they can relate to every day living,” says Carol ‘Dang’ Doria, store operations and customer service manager. 

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    Kids also get to create their own avatar and enter the virtual world of Oville, which features 50 characters, each with a distinct personality and who teach certain manners and values. They mirror daily life through practical lessons and skills.

    Check out the history of Oville here:

     

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