Scholastic Big Day for PreK™ Brings Most Current Research on Early Childhood Education to PreK Classrooms

New Comprehensive Curriculum Helps Ensure Children are
Prepared to Succeed in Kindergarten

New York, NY (November 4, 2010) — A new comprehensive early childhood curriculum from Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, brings the most current research about early learning to pre-Kindergarten classrooms across the country to help ensure that all children, including English Language Learners and those of all socioeconomic levels, build the academic and social-emotional foundations they need to succeed in Kindergarten.

Developed by a team of early childhood education experts led by renowned researcher and UC-Berkeley professor Dr. Anne Cunningham, Scholastic Big Day for PreK™ embraces children’s natural curiosity – encouraging them to explore, play and learn about the world around them – while establishing a strong connection between school, home and the community. The program was heavily influenced by the findings of “Developing Early Literacy,” the 2009 report of the National Early Literacy Panel, of which Dr. Cunningham was a member.

Big Day for PreK focuses on “Five Big Elements of Success,” which research has shown help children succeed in Kindergarten and beyond:

  1. A curriculum centered on daily “Big Experiences” that integrate academic, social-emotional, and physical development. Divided into eight engaging, child-friendly themes, the curriculum builds over an eight-month period to coincide with the traditional academic school year.
  2. Rich and varied opportunities for meaningful conversations that help children build oral language and vocabulary. The program contains resources to help teachers prompt conversation and children explore language and build vocabulary every day.
  3. The best in children’s literature and nonfiction text in a variety of genres and formats that ensure every child has access to quality reading material. Children participate in daily read-alouds, shared reading and independent reading and have unlimited access, including at home, to BookFlix®, Scholastic’s unique eBooks.
  4. Innovative technology for teachers that empowers them with state-of -the-art resources and assessment and planning tools. In addition, a family portal invites families and caregivers into their children’s Pre-K world, helping them stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the classroom and reinforce lessons at home.
  5. A comprehensive program with total equity in English and Spanish, making all program materials available in both languages and offering comprehensive support for bilingual and dual-language classrooms.

“Research shows that children flourish and learn when they are in stimulating environments that build on their natural curiosity,” said Big Day Senior Author, Dr. Cunningham. “Big Day for PreK encourages children to explore and learn about the world around them, and we use that as a platform to help them develop the skills, behaviors and attitudes they need to function productively and collaboratively in school and society.”

Scholastic’s early childhood programs have consistently reflected the best research and practices on how young children learn and grow. Big Day for PreK continues that mission of helping every child succeed -- from comprehensive curriculums used in classrooms, to technology like BookFlix that brings stories to life in an e-format for home or school use, to books and magazines that teach children life lessons and make sense of their community and their world.

“Children’s experiences in the first years have a profound impact on the course of the rest of their lives,” said Margery Mayer, President, Scholastic Education. “Those early years are even more critical now as the Common Core State Standards have raised the bar for what all children should know and be able to do in Kindergarten. For 90 years we have sought to make sure that kids have early and frequent access to quality books and other educational materials, and Big Day for PreK builds on this legacy of giving kids the right tools at the right time to help them learn about and navigate their world.”

Grounded in integrated instruction that adapts to a child’s needs, Big Day for PreK provides children with intentional and engaging learning opportunities to build the necessary foundations in all subject areas. Development of Big Day for PreK was informed by a team of expert researchers and practitioners that, in addition to Dr. Cunningham, included Dr. Nicole Andrews of the University of Houston, Dr. Julie Washington of Georgia State University, and Dr. María Elena Argüelles of Miami, FL.

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Contacts: Dina Paul-Parks, Scholastic, 212-343-6424 /

Yanique Hart, Scholastic, 212-343-6901 /