Scholastic Media Announces Winners of National Clifford The Big Red Dog BE BIG in Your Community Contest




The BE BIG Fund awards $50,000 in community grants to the BIGGEST ideas inspired by Clifford's Big Ideas



12-Year-Old West Virginia girl's BIG idea awarded $25,000 community grant for special needs accessible playground; 10 additional ideas receive $2,500 grants


New York — October 5, 2009 — It only takes a little…to BE BIG! Scholastic Media (NASDAQ: SCHL) today announced the winners of the first annual "BE BIG In your Community Contest" as part of its ongoing Clifford The Big Red Dog® BE BIG!™ campaign to support civic engagement. Six hundred entries representing more than 16,000 children, parents, teachers and community leaders ranging in age from 8 to 67 poured in; 12-year-old Madelon Kerns' BIG idea for a special needs accessible playground will be awarded the $25,000 grant from the BE BIG Fund. The West Virginia student will see her idea come to life with the support of the Volunteer Action Center of the Mid-Ohio Valley, an affiliate of the HandsOn Network. The national contest invited everyone to submit a BIG idea that demonstrates 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 Truthfu) to enter for a chance to win a community grant to be used toward implementing the winning proposals.

"Madelon, her team and their winning idea truly embodies the spirit of what it means to BE BIG," said Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Media and Executive Vice President of Scholastic Inc, the global children's publishing, education and media company. "The BE BIG campaign is about inspiring people of all ages to work together to embrace Clifford's Big Ideas; Scholastic is delighted that so many children and families are committed to such creative and innovative ways to improve the lives of others while taking pride in service to their communities."

Kerns was inspired to submit her BIG idea when she was unable to play in the local park with a friend who is in a wheelchair. With the help of her mother, the Junior League of Parkersburg and Boundless Playgrounds™, the idea to build a special needs accessible playground - "JuLePs Pathways" - was developed. The grant from the BE BIG Fund will be used to build the entrance to the park. In her contest submission, Madelon cited being inspired by an episode of Clifford which tells the story of a three-legged dog and how Clifford and his friends work collaboratively to ensure that they can all play together.

"I'm thrilled and excited about this BIG prize," said Madelon. "Clifford understands that all kids like to have fun – no matter what!"

Ten additional BIG ideas will each be awarded $2,500 Runners Up community grants: • WATERLOO, IA: Mike Lind and his team will be working with the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley on his BIG Idea for a "Mobile Food Pantry."
• ASHEVILLE, NC: Susan Jensen will be working with Hands On Asheville-Buncombe to create her "Readers' Oasis."
`49; PHOENIX, AZ: Darren Chapman and his team will be working with HandsOn Greater Phoenix to keep his “Organic Gardening” project active in his community.
• CEDAR RAPIDS, IA: Ian Watt and his team will be working with the United Way of Central Iowa to bring his "Music Mentoring" program to the forefront.
• NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR: Mattie Thacker and her team from the Mayor’s Youth Council will be working with the Heart of Arkansas United Way to make progress on their "Picture Perfect Summer" project.
• HILO, HI: Suzanne Nozaki and her team of students will be working with Children for Children to make their "Eat Your Lawn" project a reality.
• CORAL GABLES, FL: Adrianne Lage will work with Hands On Miami to bring her two passions of kids and the sun together to make a BIG change with her "Sun Smiles" project.
• WILTON, CT: Joseph A. Fiore will work with the Volunteer Center serving Western Connecticut to make his “Adopt a Grandparent” program a priority in local schools.
• BURNSVILLE, MN: Fay Finn and her team of students will continue their work on the "Brainpower in a Backpack" program with HandsOn Twin Cities.
• SAN DIEGO, CA: Skyler Pinto will work on continuing his peace pledge and create “Kids Care Packs” for children in homeless shelters and hospitals with the help of Excel Youth Zone.

The 11 winning BIG ideas were selected by a panel of judges based on the following criteria: feasibility, creativity, sustainability and impact. The 2009 BE BIG In Your Community Contest judging panel included: Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Media / Executive Vice President of Scholastic Inc.; Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer Scholastic Inc., / Senior Vice President of Scholastic Education; Karen Proctor, Vice President of Community Affairs Scholastic Inc.; Marcia Bullard, President, CEO and Editor of USA Weekend Magazine; Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher, CEO and President of FirstLink; Shawn Wilson, President of Usher’s New Look Foundation and Tracy Hoover, Chief of Staff from the Points Of Light Institute.


A complete list of finalists and profiles about their BIG ideas can be found at

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 copies in print, Clifford books espouse the true meaning of what it means to BE BIG and are literary classics embraced by parents, teachers and kids. Norman Bridwell’s new hardcover book, Clifford The Champion, is being released this month.

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, a business unit of Points of Light Institute, creates opportunities for people to apply their interests and passions to make a difference in communities. The Network is leading people from impulse to action turning their ideas for change into real projects like building wheel chair ramps, watershed protection projects and tutoring programs. 250 plus affiliates help nonprofits, community and government organizations manage and develop the leadership capacity of volunteers. In 2007 alone, these HandsOn Action Centers helped to deliver more than 33 million hours of volunteer service valued at $1.2 billion dollars.

Online press kit available at


Brian Reinert / Ashley Gillen