Clifford Be Big Initiative Showcased at National Conference on Volunteering and Service with Michelle Obama, Maria Shriver


Campaign supports civic engagement for youth and families


San Francisco, CA — June 23, 2009 — The Scholastic Clifford BE BIG™ initiative was showcased at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service yesterday in San Francisco where Michelle Obama delivered the keynote address. Clifford The Big Red Dog® was also there to support the Scholastic BE BIG™ initiative with HandsOn Network, a co-convener of the conference along with Points of Light Institute and The Corporation for National and Community Service. The two organizations are working together to engage young people in service by inviting everyone, big and small, to raise awareness for how Clifford's Big Ideas (Share, Help Others, Be Kind, Be Responsible, Play Fair, Be a Good Friend, Believe in Yourself, Have Respect, Work Together and Be Truthful) can make the world a better place.

Scholastic Media and Clifford The Big Red Dog® participated in the conference in support of the BE BIG initiative – including the signature program “The Be Big In Your Community Contest” – which invites kids of all ages, teachers, parents and community leaders to submit a BIG idea that demonstrates Clifford’s Big Ideas for a chance to see their Big Idea honored with a community grant to be used towards implementing their Big Idea. One (1) grand prize entry will be honored with a $25,000 community grant and ten (10) runner-up entries will each be honored with a $2,500 community grant (via HandsOn Network affiliate organizations or designees) from the Be Big Fund. ( The mission of the Be Big Fund is to recognize and reward others for their BE BIG actions, catalyze change in local communities and provide resources to share BIG ideas.

"In her address, the First Lady spoke about the importance of President Obama's nationwide service initiative to our country" said Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Media and Executive Vice President of Scholastic Inc, the global children's publishing, education and media company. "We are proud that Scholastic's BE BIG campaign is inspiring people of all ages to work together in service to their communities. We hope that by embracing Clifford's Big Ideas, children and families will work together to make a big difference in their communities and make service a way of life."

The National Conference on Volunteering and Service is the world's largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, government, and corporate sectors. Co-convened by The Points of Light Institute, HandsOn Network and The Corporation for National and Community Service, the annual event provides attendees with an opportunity to learn, connect, and be inspired through a wide range of exciting and informative plenary sessions, workshops, special events, service projects, exhibits, specialized corporate tracks and more.

"Be Big In Your Community Contest" submissions will be accepted on the Clifford BE BIG website ( or via standard mail today through June 26, 2009 and is open to all legal residents of the U.S. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges from Scholastic Inc. and HandsOn Network based on the following criteria: feasibility, creativity, sustainability and impact. Official Rules are available at and at NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

The Big Ideas were borne out of the curriculum developed for the award winning animated television series, currently airing on PBS KIDS® ( Now in its ninth season, Clifford scores high ratings with moms and is among the most popular PBS KIDS series for kids 2-5. Clifford enjoys 96% brand awareness among parents. The brand continues to perform well internationally with television episodes sold to more than 110 countries worldwide.

With more than 126 million books in print, Clifford is a literary classic that is embraced by parents, teachers and kids. Scholastic will release Clifford The Champion, a new hardcover by Norman Bridwell, in October 2009.

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs and school-based book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, television networks and the Company’s Internet Site,

HandsOn Network, the volunteer-focused arm of Points of Light Institute, is the largest volunteer network in the nation and includes more than 250 HandsOn Action Centers that reach more than 83% of the nation’s population and extend to ten countries. HandsOn includes a powerful network of more than 70,000 corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations that are answering the call to serve and creating scaled impact. In 2008, the network delivered approximately 30 million hours of volunteer service valued at $615 million.

PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community outreach programs. With positive role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being, PBS’s children’s media and family and educator resources - including PBS KIDS online (, PBS KIDS GO! online (, PBS Parents (, PBS Teachers (, PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country - leverage the full spectrum of media, technology and community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Empowering children for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 356 public television stations, serving more than 115 million people on-air and online each month.


Brian Reinert / Ashley Gillen /