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New Childrens App - Fredericksburg Parent and Family

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Hot off the Press

First Children’s App that Lets Kids Interact with Live Characters launching this holiday season
Captain McFinn Swim & Play, available on the Apple iTunes Store, combines innovative technology with prosocial learning to change the way children and parents play together


NEW YORK, NY, November 10, 2014 – The traditional concept of children’s interactive TV consisted of main characters who posed questions to the audience, paused (as if to listen), then acknowledged the audience with a generic response. But what if the character could truly interact with a parent and child in real-time, respond to the child’s accomplishments and even call out the child by name? It is now possible with the Captain McFinn “Swim & Play” tablet-based app.  It is the first app aimed at pre-school children ages 3 – 5 years old, which allows the audience to communicate with a live character host in a secure setting alongside their friends. 

The live character host will guide parents and children on a journey as they swim alongside Captain McFinn (a fun loving shark) and his friends in Sand Dusty Reef, interacting with the characters, participating in games, engaging content, and fostering prosocial learning.

"We developed the world of Captain McFinn and Friends to give children a fun and entertaining environment in which to learn and play," says Phyllis Cafaro, Creator of Captain McFinn. "The live character host introduces kids to the characters and stories of Captain McFinn and allows them to engage in a customized interactive experience while teaching them important lessons."

The children's app, sold on the Apple iTunes Store, is being introduced by Captain McFinn and Friends, a brand dedicated to teaching children prosocial lessons through impactful story-telling, strong character development and relevant content through books, videos and local mall events. The Captain McFinn app combines revolutionary technology created by Flying Rhinoceros in Portland, Oregon, with content that is reviewed by leading educators in the areas of early childhood development and prosocial issues such as acts of kindness, sharing, empathy, and bullying prevention.

"We have created the technology to tell a new kind of story. Not only can Captain McFinn engage with kids, but for the first time kids can communicate back," says Ranjy Thomas, CEO of Flying Rhinoceros. "We believe this will change the face of learning and entertainment."

It is also important to highlight that the app complies with all COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) safety and privacy standards. For instance, although the parents/children can see the host, the host cannot see them. Through proprietary technology, the host reacts to prompts, responses and creations by the child and texts from the parent to make the interactive experience truly customized. This communication is all done through a secure chat box.

This holiday season the Captain McFinn "Swim & Play" app will provide children and their parents with a one-of-a-kind experience that is positive, entertaining and be enjoyed together.

About Captain McFinn & Friends, LLC
Phyllis Cafaro, Vice President of Marketing for a leading shopping mall development firm, created Captain McFinn as a kids' club in malls throughout the country, with the help of Esther Buschau, Director of Marketing. After experiencing her grandchild being bullied at a very young age, Cafaro felt compelled to create a program that helped children with kindness, sharing, and bullying prevention. The program grew to include books, a bullying prevention program, music, and apps. Cafaro's collaboration with Flying Rhinoceros has allowed her to effectuate the program's goals. Flying Rhinoceros' team of talented graphic artists, animators, web designers, filmmakers, and writers has helped Cafaro realize her dream of changing the lives of children. Using new technology, Captain McFinn is able to reach a multitude of young children and help them learn important life lessons while having fun.



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Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.