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Poptropica, Educational Virtual World for Kids

Millions of Kids Find Educational Games and More on Safe, Online Environment for Fun and Learning

BOSTON - June 30, 2009 - Poptropica, the Web's fastest growing virtual world for kids, has entered Quantcast.com's list of top 300 Web sites, based on monthly visitors. Less than two years old, the safe online environment for fun and learning recently secured the 274th slot on the online audience measurement firm's list. Poptropica users have created more than 120 million online characters that explore and learn on the site's nine virtual islands.

This news follows the remarkable launch of the site's new Astro-Knights Island on June 10, when 1.2 million users logged on to explore this online Medieval space adventure. Early access to this new island was made possible by Poptropica's recently launched virtual economy system for kids, through which parents or other adults can purchase credits for their children's accounts. Kids can then use these credits to purchase Early Access passes to play new islands before they are launched to the public, and can buy costumes, special powers and features for their online avatars. Kids also earn a limited number of free credits when they complete islands on Poptropica.

Parents and online pundits around the world have been singing the praises of this educational virtual world for children. "NetFamilyNews" sent an "undercover Mom" on to Poptropica, and she concluded, "Poptropica does indeed boast an admirable educational dimension. Kids travel back in time and meet historical figures like Leonardo daVinci and Thomas Edison. They traipse through Aztec Ruins and learn about the dorsal fins of Great White sharks. Children who want to learn more can click a button that links them directly to more information at FEN's FactMonster.com."

In her blog, "My Digital Summer," a parent and graduate student in library science said, "Due to its educational aspects, many kids are allowed, and even encouraged to play the game at school. I think it is a fantastic resource, and I am excited to share it with others."

Or, as "Wired" magazine's "Geek Dad" said in May 2009 when his daughter chose Poptropica over all of the other gaming options in the house, "All in all, this is a great site."

Poptropica is visited by nearly 7.5 million kids each month. The members of this virtual world for kids come from more than 70 different countries and have their Web browsers set to more than 90 different languages, ranging from Spanish and Sanskrit to Vietnamese and Croatian. Upon arrival at Poptropica, kids are asked to select their age, a user name and password. They then create an avatar that will explore the online virtual islands for kids. They can choose from numerous characters, hairstyles and colors, eyes, lips and clothing to create their own unique character. Using scripted chat, young Internet users on Poptropica safely and easily interact with others online, never sharing any personal or identifying information.

"Poptropica offers parents and kids the best possible online world. Kids can enjoy challenging stories and online games, while parents can trust that their children are playing - and learning - in a safe online environment. That's why the site's popularity has grown so quickly," said Jess M. Brallier, general manager, Family Education Network, publisher of Poptropica. "Poptropica's virtual economy adds another element for parents to enhance their kids' experience on the site if they wish. All Poptropica islands are - and will continue to be - free for all kids to play."

Later this summer, Poptropica will launch its 10th new island to challenge, entertain and educate the millions of kids around the world who visit the site every month.

About Poptropica (Poptropica.com)
Developed by Family Education Network, the makers of Funbrain, Poptropica is a virtual world where kids can travel, play games, collect objects and compete with other players in head-to-head competition. Players can also safely interact and communicate with other inhabitants of Poptropica. There are always new areas to explore in this ever-expanding world, and players can read digital books and comics and watch movies along the way. Family Education Network is part of Pearson, the world's largest education and technology company. Pearson's other primary operations include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

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