Disney Online to Offer Public Libraries Free Access to Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online(TM)

Quality, ad-free educational programming emphasizes kindergarten readiness through online learning

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 23, 2006--Disney Online, part of the Walt Disney Internet Group, today announced it will offer public libraries free subscriptions to Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online(TM), a safe, ad-free interactive learning experience for preschoolers. Developed in conjunction with education experts, Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online offers entertaining, story-driven games and activities that teach skills in crucial areas such as letter and number recognition, shape and color identification and counting. Disney Online will be showcasing the service at the American Library Association (ALA) Conference in New Orleans from June 24-27th in booth #240.

"Librarians often play a significant role in helping preschool-age children prepare for kindergarten," said Renee Cherow O'Leary, professor at Teachers College Columbia University and President of Education for the 21st Century, an educational consulting firm in New York City. "Resources that support early learning are valuable and allow parents and children to work together."

Praised by The New York Times and USA Today for its content, Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online is hosted by "Bear" from Disney Channel's Bear in the Big Blue House. Bear and other Disney characters lead activities that focus on eight key skill areas including reading readiness, thinking skills, daily living skills, social skills, imagination and self-expression, motor skills, and computer skills. Lessons automatically adjust to each individual child's skill level, keeping preschoolers engaged and challenged. New content is introduced every two weeks, letting each child continue to advance at his or her natural pace.

"We're very pleased to be able to offer Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online free to public libraries," said Steve Parkis, vice president of premium products, Disney Online. "We believe the public library is a perfect fit for the fun learning offered in Preschool Time Online, especially for guests who may not have easy access to a broadband connection elsewhere."
Disney Online will offer U.S.-based public librarians free access to Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online, normally a $49.95 annual subscription fee, beginning June 24, 2006 at the American Library Association conference. Librarians can email [email protected] to request a free subscription or visit www.preschooltime.com/library for a guide on how to use Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online in the library. Valid credentials must be provided by each applicant.