ING DIRECT Canada wants to help by launching Planet Orange - an online
adventure website with key financial lessons for kids
TORONTO, Sept. 21 /CNW/ - Canadian parents feel they're more prepared to talk to their children about drugs and alcohol than they are about money and finances, according to a recent online survey conducted by Angus Reid Strategies earlier this month. And according to an ING DIRECT @SuperStarSaver Twitter poll that is currently running until the end of October, many parents would even rather talk to their kids about sex than money.
As families face the challenge of having the "money talk" with their children, ING DIRECT, Canada's leading direct bank, is hoping to make that conversation easier with the launch of Planet Orange(TM), a virtual web experience for children that makes learning about money entertaining and educational.
Planet Orange, found at www.orangekids.ca, gives children a chance to embark on a variety of targeted space missions and discover the importance and value of money, along with personal finance lessons through fun and engaging games and activities.
Planet Orange comes at a time when financial education and understanding have never been more important for all Canadians, whether young or old.
The Angus Reid Strategies online survey, commissioned by ING DIRECT, found that while 94% of parents with children under the age of 18 believe that they are responsible for educating their children about the importance of money, 82% of parents also feel financial education should be taught in school from Kindergarten to Grade 8.
"At ING DIRECT, we are committed to providing easy to understand information about finances and how money works, while also encouraging Canadians to save and spend their money wisely," said Peter Aceto, President & CEO of ING DIRECT Canada. "To help improve our kids' financial education and futures, parents and teachers must have the resources to start teaching money-saving lessons at an early age. We think Planet Orange can be an informative and entertaining part of these much needed resources."
While on Planet Orange, children in grades one through six can rocket through space to four different continents that teach the fundamentals of earning, saving, spending and investing. The interactive, space-themed website comes fully equipped with a Teacher Resource Center that includes teacher tutorials, free lesson plans and supplemental information and tools to enhance the learning experience. There is also a Parent Centre that walks parents through the site and addresses how ING DIRECT protects the privacy of their kids online.
The Planet Orange space missions allow children to select and steer their astronaut through four quirky cities on Planet Orange. Space travelers must "earn" the money to fuel their space ships and can only "purchase" items for their space ship if their budget permits. Through the able assistance of space guides Cedric and Amy, adventures begin on Mandarin Mountains, the planet that teaches the value and importance of money. Tangy Town is the second stop where children learn about budgeting, banking and paychecks. Naval City makes children aware of credit, interest and inflation. The last stop, Orangeopolis, introduces investing, stocks, diversification and risk. After the tasks are completed on each continent, the children are given a brief quiz of lessons learned and earn a certificate for answering all the questions correctly.
On breaks between missions, Planet Orange travelers can hang out at their space station and spend Obux - Planet Orange outer space money - on games, decorations and costumes for their avatar astronaut. When Obux run low, there are always plenty of ways to earn more.
About Angus Reid Strategies' online survey methodology
From September 1 to September 3, 2009, Angus Reid Strategies conducted an online survey among 624 randomly selected Canadian adults who are parents of children under 18 years of age, and are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 3.9%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire population of parents of children under 18 years of age in Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
About Planet Orange
Planet Orange was first launched by ING DIRECT in the U.S. in 2002 and was recognized as a "Best Bet" by USA TODAY and named 'Best of the Web' by Forbes.com. The site was also recognized at the W(3) Awards, which celebrate creative excellence on the Internet, gaining a gold in the "Family/Parenting" category and silver in the "Education" category. A redesigned Planet Orange adventure, launched in June 2009 in the U.S. and now adapted and launched for a Canadian audience by ING DIRECT Canada, provides parents, educators, and children with enhanced learning tools and games. Planet Orange TM is a trademark of ING USA Holding Corporation used by permission by ING Bank of Canada.
About ING DIRECT
ING DIRECT is Canada's leading direct bank with over 1.6 million Clients and more than $27 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT gives the power of saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges and low rates on mortgages. Low cost, index-based mutual funds are sold through ING DIRECT Funds Limited. ING DIRECT Canada has been operating since 1997, and has paid more than $3.9 billion in interest to Clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at www.ingdirect.ca or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1.800.464.3473).
Style note to Editors: ING DIRECT is always capitalized and never referred to as ING.
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