Togetherville, the social network site for kids 10 and under wants them to have a voice in the big discussion about education reform (and maybe how their schools are run) – kid by kid, school by school. It just launched its School Communities program, further tying children’s social networks in Togetherville into their school networks (I say “further” because kids’ online social networks are usually mostly school friends and peers). This is “the first real platform for kids to express their thoughts on educational issues,” Togetherville says – plain good sense, I think, since students are supposed to be the beneficiaries of school! One way they can express their thoughts in a comfortable way is through Trumpets, a polling feature in Togetherville.com that asks them education-related questions, then features them on the main Trumpets page (kids’ responses are screened by Togetherville and approved by their parents before they go live). The site will also broadcast responses to the children’s own School Community in the site “so that influential adults can hear and respond to kids’ concerns,” Togetherville says. According to TechCrunch, School Communities makes it a lot easier for kids to connect with their friends at school in this social site (not just with the children of their parents’ friends in Facebook). To support the launch and members’ schools, Togetherville also just announced the “Heart Your School” sweepstakes, in which its members and their parents can enter their school to win $10,000 this fall. They can “heart” their school every day, even. The schools with the most hearts and the most individual votes will get $1,000 each. The $10k grand prize-winning school will be announced after a special drawing. [For more on this site, see "Get Togetherville: Social networking for kids 6-10."]
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