After two years of quiet but steady expansion, the startup once known as Personalized Learning Games is expanding to a giant new market—China. The move ensures that in just a few short months, Centervention’s computer games designed to improve social and emotional learning (SEL) skills will impact more kids than ever before.
The opportunity to expand is thanks to a strategic partnership with Chinese holding company ZionLion Group, which owns businesses in sectors as diverse as construction and education. The two companies plan to translate and subsequently distribute Centervention’s games throughout China.
The market is huge—in 2015, over 28.8 million students were enrolled in China’s primary and lower secondary (junior high) schools.
But for Centervention and ZionLion Group, there are benefits that far exceed revenue from a new market. Their chief excitement stems from a strong belief that the skills these games teach are universally important and can benefit children of all backgrounds. As Centervention CEO Tim Huntley says, “the skills we focus on are empathy, character and kindness—soft skills that cross cultures and apply to everybody.”
This type of education is especially important in China, says Joshua Zhou, ZionLion’s US branch Manager. Chinese schools are mostly focused on teaching to boost IQ, intelligence and STEM skills. SEL skills are often forgotten. He says it’s important “to teach kids to be successful in society.”
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