Sparky’s Birthday Surprise app wins a Parents’ Choice Award

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August 14, 2014 – Sparky’s® Birthday Surprise, the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) storybook app, was selected as a 2014 Parents’ Choice Award winner by the Parents’ Choice Foundation, the nation’s oldest nonprofit consumer guide to quality children’s media.

Sparky Birthday Surprise eBookSparky’s Birthday Surprise teaches kids ages 3-6 important fire safety skills. The app is jam-packed with learning games, activities, coloring pages, and a sing-a-long. With bright graphics and kid-friendly “tappable” animations throughout, the app is aligned to Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math.

In the app, it's Sparky the Fire Dog's® birthday, and his friends are planning a surprise party. While enjoying this interactive, animated story, kids learn what to do if the smoke alarm sounds, how to exit the home safely, and how to choose an outside meeting place with their family. Also included is a special section for caregivers, which offers thoughtful questions designed to spark open-ended conversation and reinforce reading comprehension.

“It is truly an honor to have received the Parent’s Choice Award,” said Judy Comoletti, the public education division manager at NFPA. “It’s important that kids learn about fire safety at an early age, and this app provides parents and teachers with an interactive tool to teach how to respond to the sound of the smoke alarm – a skill they’ll remember and use throughout their lives.”

The Parents’ Choice Awards is designed to help parents and caregivers make informed decisions about which new products are right for their children. The Award program honors quality media in the audio, books, DVD, magazines, computer software, television, toys and video games categories. The winners are determined by a committee of educators, performing artists, parents, children and librarians. Fewer than 20 percent of the products submitted to the awards program receive any level of acclaim.

The app is available in English and Spanish and can be found on the iTunes App Store, Amazon App Store for Android, Google Play and the Barnes & Noble App Store for NOOK TM or www.sparkyschoolhouse.org.

About Sparky the Fire Dog®

Sparky the Fire Dog® was created for the NFPA in 1951 and has been the organization’s official mascot and spokesdog ever since. He is a widely recognized fire safety icon who is beloved by children and adults alike. In addition to connecting with the public through educational programs, he has a very active website, www.sparky.org , which allows kids to explore and learn about fire safety in a trusted, interactive environment. Sparky the Fire Dog® is a registered trademark of NFPA.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

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