PUNXSUTAWNEY — As written on the family chalk board in the den, “Dream Big” has always been the motto for Kerri Presloid.
After winning Penn State-DuBois’ B.I.G. (Business Ideas Gone Wild) competition in 2009, Presloid has been able to begin her dream of becoming an entrepreneur. The idea she submitted to the competition was a children’s game entitled “Treasure!” which is intended to help each player learn letter recognition while collecting the treasure of gold coins.
The game “Treasure!” has several ways to play for different age levels, from advanced toddler to kindergarten.
Presloid invented the game thinking that children could become bored with flash cards, believing that youngsters need games that could grab and keep their attention on learning. The games not only keep the children’s attention, but help them in school so they don’t get frustrated easily.
Throughout the process of creating the game, Presloid stayed on task by setting goals along the way.
Her major goal, after the product was completed, was to sell to three people she didn’t know.
“When I made the first sale to someone I didn’t know, my boys were there, and I pointed in the midst of the tears and laughter saying, ‘I don’t know them, I don’t know them,’” she said.
Her energy toward the game didn’t consist of only its concept, but of its packaging.
“It was very important to me that everything would be made in the United States and be eco-friendly,” Presloid said.
The packaging is made of recycled T-shirts, and the drawstrings are made from organic cotton, which provides for a very complete eco-friendly product. Presloid said she made sure the game does not contain any excess plastic or cardboard. Further, all materials for the game have been made in the United States.
Not only are the materials eco-friendly, but the packaging is small, non-breakable and makes for easy transport. Presloid said she intentionally created the bag to be easy for parents to take with them, whether putting it in a purse or diaper bag.
She said she could not have begun to conquer her dream without the help of her husband, Joe; sons Tyler, now 17, Ryan, 15, and Ben, 11; and her brother Dan Rugh, owner of Commonwealth Press, whom she described as her biggest inspiration, as he is also an entrepreneur.
She said her brother was able to accommodate her with the supplies needed for some printing and well-received advice to help bring the game to fruition.
Once the final product was completed, Presloid said she was nervous and had feelings similar to that of an artist or writer: The overpowering fear of the public eye. But now that she has taken the plunge, she has sold more than 50 copies of the game in a month, coupled with positive feedback.
While advertising can be tricky, Presloid has a vision to promote the games in nurseries and with parents.
The next game Presloid wants to establish in the alphabet realm is “Ice Cream!,” which will improve the skill of matching capital and lower-case letters.
Presloid earned an undergraduate degree in early childhood education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was a pre-school and a second-grade teacher. But after the deciding to be a stay-at-home mom, Presloid had a continuing urge to teach.
When a friend came to her for advice on how to teach their kids to read when struggling in kindergarten, it became obvious that not every parent knows the steps to take when teaching kids. That’s why Presloid felt that it was necessary to make the appropriate resources available.
CHECK IT OUT:
“Treasure!,” a learning game available from Polliwog Academy, may be bought online at www.polliwogacademy.com  or at the Book Nook in Punxsutawney, Indiana, Kittanning, Butler or Clarion.
Feedback on the game can be viewed on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/polliwogacademy#!/polliwogacademy?sk=wall
With the purchase of each game, a free information sheet on 10 steps to teach your child to read will be included.