St. Louis--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Build-A-Bear Workshop® online community at Buildabearville.com® today received a 'Best of the Web' award from WiredSafety at the 9th Annual WiredKids Summit.
"We are honored to have our efforts recognized by WiredSafety today," said Build-A-Bear Workshop Chairman and Chief Executive Bear Maxine Clark. "As a Company that is all about children and families, child safety is paramount to us – we stand with parents to help ensure that virtual world sites are a safe and fun place to play. From the initial launch of our virtual world, we have reached out to parents, other sites, technology experts and industry associations to review, discuss and design a safe online play space."
The WiredKids Best of the Web award winners are chosen by more than 50,000 students who nominated their favorite sites for review. For this year's awards, thousands of sites received nominations, but only 143 qualified for parental review. WiredSafety's team of parents narrowed the nominations list to 62 finalists and just 14 sites made the final cut to receive the 2009 WiredKids Best of the Web award.
Build-A-Bear Workshop Chief Information Officer Dave Finnegan, who attended the WiredKids Summit today, commented, "Our virtual world was carefully created to reflect the core values of Build-A-Bear Workshop. The site allows children to have fun as they grow their friendships and learn about being an active participant in the community. We appreciate WiredSafety's recognition of our efforts to ensure a safe virtual environment for kids that also lets them discover and learn."
WiredSafety Founder and Executive Director Parry Aftab said, "Build-A-Bear Workshop is firmly committed to children's safety. Since launching Buildabearville.com®, the Company has taken a leadership role in the development of safe, fun and interactive online play. We welcome Build-A-Bearville™ to the awards summit this year and look forward to continuing to work with them to promote safe and fun online play for children."
The 2009 WiredKids Best of the Web awards presentation takes place today, during the 9th Annual WiredKids Summit, which begins at 9:00 a.m. EST at the Dirksen Senate Building in Washington, DC. The event is hosted entirely by WiredSafety's Teenangels (ages 13-18) and Tweenangels (ages 7-12), the award-winning teen and preteen cyber experts in WiredSafety's program. WiredSafety.org is the largest and oldest online safety, education and help group in the world.
During the WiredKids Summit today, the Teenangels and Tweenangels also are presenting research findings on expanding and enhancing the Internet for kids. Throughout the year, these exceptional kids work with leading companies and governmental entities as part of the Teenangels and Tweenangels mission to help everyone be safer online, on cell phones and on gaming devices. The companies who collaborate with them have benefited from their unique understanding of what teens and tweens do online, and what they want from the Web.
Build-A-Bear Workshop is the first company with both real world stores and a virtual world experience. In buildabearville.com, citizens are able to create a unique character, decorate their own Cub Condo™ home, participate in games and quests and learn about giving back to the community. Membership to the site is free and does not expire. Today, over 7.8 million unique users are registered on buildabearville.com.
Build-A-Bear Workshop encourages parent and Guest involvement in its Buildabearville.com® online community. The Company formed a Parent Advisory Panel in 1997 when the Company opened its first Build-A-Bear Workshop store. The Panel – a parent group that from time to time is asked to review and give input on products, services and online features – has been a source of important input for the Build-A-Bearville™.
In addition, the Company launched an online Jr. CyBearGuide™ program in buildabearville.com in October 2008. The program allows qualified members of the community to act as guides by answering questions, providing information and giving tours. Each Jr. CybearGuide's avatar receives a unique Jr. CyBearGuide Cap – a blue hat with a star – to help distinguish them within the online community and let others know that they are there to help and answer questions. Jr. CyBearGuides also lend their opinions and suggestions on improvements that can be made to the buildabearville.com Web site.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. The Company currently operates more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball® mascot in-stadium locations, Build-A-Dino® stores and friends 2B made® doll locations. In December 2007, Build-A-Bear Workshop extended its in-store interactive experience online with the launch of its virtual world at www.buildabearville.com. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $468 million in fiscal 2008.
WiredSafety.org is a 501(c) (3) charity and the largest and oldest online safety, education, and help group in the world. Originating in 1995 as a group of volunteers rating websites, it now provides one-to-one help, extensive information, and education to cyberspace users of all ages on a myriad of Internet and interactive technology safety issues. These services are offered through a worldwide organization comprised entirely of volunteers who administer specialized websites and programs.
WiredSafety.org adult volunteers range in age from 18 to 80 and run the gamut from TV personalities, teachers, law enforcement officers, PhD's, writers and librarians to stay-at-home moms, retired persons, and students. Its Teenangels program involves 13 – 18 year olds and its Tweenangels involves 7–12 year olds who train to become cybersafety experts in their own right. WiredSafety.org's founder and Executive Director, cyberlawyer Parry Aftab, is also an unpaid volunteer. With the exception of its Teenangels, outreach, law enforcement training and speaking programs, all work and help is provided online and free of charge.
We would like to thank you for your interest in covering our business. As you write your story, we would ask that you use our full Name: Build-A-Bear Workshop® and that when referencing the process of making stuffed animals you use the word "make" not "build". Build-A-Bear Workshop is our well-known trade name and our registered trademark of Build-A-Bear Retail Management, Inc. Build-A-Bear Workshop® should only be used in capital letters to refer to our products and services and should not be used as a verb.
Source: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.