Teddy Bear Express, or TBE for short, originated as an idea on the Provider's Playground email list in early August of 2004. Teddy bears are sent around the United States and Canada amongst family child care homes, preschools, daycare centers, homeschooling families and elementary schools to visit the children as a fun geography lesson.
** NEW ** Teddy Bear Express is now open to the general public (in addition to the members of Provider's Playground) provided you work with children in one of the above capacities.
TBE takes place just once a year, in September. Applications are taken during the first 3 weeks of August for entry into this program. Enroute, the bears will spend one full week at each facility, bringing with them a photo album, journal, souvenirs, and a treat for the next daycare/school on his/her route.
"BEAR KEEPERS" provide the bears and get them ready for their journeys. "HOSTS" agree to have a bear come and visit their facility. Both Bear Keepers and Hosts adhere to strict guidelines to ensure a successful journey for their bear.
A $20 Deposit is required and expected at the time of Applying. This is to help ensure that participants are serious and that all of our bears will return safely home. Prior to instituting a Deposit, bears would go 'missing.' After instituting a required Deposit, we have had 100% success rate in all bears returning home. IF your application is denied, you will be immediately refunded the full $20. IF your application is accepted, $15 will be returned to you at the successful end of your bear's journey provided you have followed all of the rules. I will keep $5 to help offset website fees, postage, and my time. Cash, Personal Check, Money Order, or PayPal is accepted. The address to submit your Deposit to is on the Application. The PayPal ID to submit your Deposit to is firstname.lastname@example.org.