Tag Archives: Book Clubs

See What’s New for ClassroomsCare Spring 2011!

31 Jan

You may have noticed some changes to this spring’s ClassroomsCare program. Teachers told us they were having a difficult time getting full participation in the reading challenge during the busy spring semester, so we decided to make it easier for you. This March, just place a classroom order, and Scholastic Book Clubs will donate a book to a wonderful literacy and mentoring organization called Everybody Wins! USA.

Scholastic Book Clubs encourages its employees to get involved with local schools in the New York area; so when I began working here two years ago, I knew I’d volunteer my time and services, but where? When a colleague asked me if I wanted to volunteer for the Everybody Wins! Power Lunch Program, I immediately looked into the literacy and mentoring program and was impressed. Two independent evaluations by the US Department of Education, and Loyola University of Chicago, documented the positive impact the program has had on low-income elementary school students nationwide. Their reading comprehension, general motivation and overall academic performance, classroom behavior, self confidence and social skills all improved as a result of this one-on-one mentoring program.

What began for me as a once-a-week commitment to making a difference in a child’s life has grown into a flourishing partnership for both of us. Nearly two years later, I’m still meeting my buddy, Linda, for our lunchtime reading sessions at her lower Manhattan Public School. We have a great time choosing books to read together, working on writing and other activities, and chatting.

Interested in learning more about Everybody Wins!, please visit everybodywins.org

A Special Thank You

22 Dec

Scholastic Book Clubs President, Judy Newman, has a special message for parents, families and care-givers this holiday season.

Muggle Quidditch!

22 Nov

Also known as “Squib Quidditch” and “Real-Life Quidditch”

On November 14, Trevor and I attended the fourth Annual Quidditch World Cup! And just in time for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (and you know how excited we were about that)! It came to NYC that weekend, it was free, and we got to go. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to be truly excited. I didn’t know much about real-life Quidditch, but it did sound a little silly. This all changed within five minutes of being at the makeshift stadium in Dewitt Clinton Park. As I sat on the curb waiting for my friends, a girl dressed in a yellow jersey, gold sequined shorts, and yellow socks ran by me at top speed. Moments later, her pursuers flew by, identical looks of determination on their faces and brooms in hand. I had just seen the two opposing Seekers attempting to catch a Snitch. It was awesome.

We ended up watching several of the matches, including both the semifinal and final games. As the day wore on, we were more and more excited. Of course, this Quidditch differs quite a bit from the Quidditch in J. K. Rowling’s world. We’re still not witches and wizards (much to my everlasting disappointment) and so we can’t exactly, you know, fly.

Players run with brooms between their legs, the Snitch is a human being who taunts the Seekers until one of them grabs a small ball tied to the Snitch’s waist, and Bludgers are closer to dodge balls than lethally fast balls that could break your arm. Other rules remain the same: The Quaffle is still the ball that scores the points, Beaters still protect the Seekers, and the Keeper still guards the three rings at each end of the field.

The college where Muggle Quidditch was invented took the cup home, once again. Middlebury College beat out Tufts for the trophy, in what was a very exciting and well-played match. And we were screaming and cheering just as hard as any seasoned Quidditch fan!

Here are some of the pictures we grabbed that day:

If I wasn’t already rereading the books for the movie, you can bet that this event would have pushed me right back into this wonderful series.

You can find the complete Harry Potter set on Lucky and Arrow this November!

We Listen to You…All of You!

8 Nov

It’s simple, really. We work in our offices in Soho (great neighborhood!) in the lovely New York City, but you are our eyes and ears into the classroom. Scholastic Book Clubs really thinks of parents and teachers as partners—we’re all in it to help children across America find books they can’t wait to read.

So we tout our customer service phone numbers and e-mails on every catalog and online,

AND we even include an e-mail address for our President, Judy Newman, so that you can write to her with any book recommendations or suggestions (judy.newman@scholastic.com). Comments like yours have made changes. No more service fees, unlimited enabling of catalogs online, Bonus Points (for teachers) starting at $1…and so much more.

In fact, I had the privilege of speaking to two teachers on Friday who had called customer service teams earlier in the week. (Yes, we care so much about what you have to say that we review comments and e-mails originally directed to our customer service team.)  These two early childhood directors had said that their parents weren’t ordering online (“jumped on the bandwagon” as one of them put it) and didn’t know why. So I spoke to them about educating parents on online ordering: ways to teach them how to order, how to find what they want, and how to talk about the rewards they would receive just for ordering online. We then talked about the books that their students were gobbling up  …and just kept talking. These two teachers gave me 30 minutes out of their hectic days, and they thought they were receiving help. I beg to differ. I learned so much, and was able to bring it all back to our teams here in NYC.

Thank you to these two teachers (you know who you are!), and to the thousands of teachers and parents who let us know how we can help.

Keep your ideas coming.

1-800-SCHOLASTIC &  bookclubs@scholastic.com

Reach Out and Read: Through a Doctor’s Eyes

13 Sep

A mother brought two children into our clinic. The oldest was her 4-year-old son, here for his checkup. His baby sister, only a few months old, was sleeping in her stroller. At every 4-year-old checkup, part of the doctor’s job is to make sure that child is ready to think about starting school. So I asked the little boy some questions, checking to see whether he had the social skills to talk with an adult he didn’t know very well, and whether he could put together sentences.

In fact, this particular 4-year-old was outgoing and friendly, and a terrific conversationalist. He had his Reach Out and Read book, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? He showed me that he could find the first letter of his own name on the page in several places, and then added in the first letter of his sister’s name, for good measure. And then, of course, he wanted to talk about dinosaurs. He was proud of the book.

But something occurred to him. He pointed to his baby sister and said that she wouldn’t be able to understand the book, but she could get a baby book. Yes, I said, when she comes for her next checkup, she’ll get a baby book; a board book.

Thanks to Reach Out and Read, our pediatric clinic is full of books. Reach Out and Read is a program for pediatricians like me—and our colleagues, the family physicians and nurse practitioners who take care of children at clinics and health centers and private practices all over the United States. Through Reach Out and Read, we can help parents incorporate books and reading aloud into their children’s lives, starting when those children are babies. And when students and teachers contribute books through ClassroomsCare, those books go into our clinics and back out in the hands of young children everywhere. Their support is a big part of the reason that Reach Out and Read is able to serve 4 million children through our 4,500 Programs nationwide.

Reach Out and Read gives a book at every checkup from the 6-month visit to the 5-year checkup. That’s a total of 10 books by the time a child starts kindergarten. The books that we give in the first two years are board books, which feature pictures of baby faces, animals, and familiar objects. As children get into the toddler years, the stories become more complicated, featuring the rhymes and rhythms that children love to hear again and again! And by the preschool visits, the 3- to 5-year-olds can choose storybooks and picture books rich with legends, jokes, rhymes, and information about the world.

Growing up with books in the early years helps a child understand how stories work and how to recognize letters. Children who grow up hearing books read aloud by their parents come to associate books with the feeling of safety that comes when a young child is held on a parent’s lap, and with the familiar and much-loved voice of the parent. Books should be part of bedtime routines for babies and toddlers, and part of children’s everyday lives.

Many of our patients are growing up in families where there would otherwise be no books, because many of our clinics serve children growing up in poverty. The books that we offer at the checkup can mean the difference between growing up with books and growing up without books. Through ClassroomsCare, children are helping Reach Out and Read help other children arrive at school familiar with books and all the joys they can offer. And those children, as every teacher knows, are much more likely to be ready to learn to read. And they know that books are a grand and glorious addition to their lives and their world.

So I have to admit, we jumped the gun a little. We decided to give our 4-year-old patient the opportunity to choose a baby book, in addition to his dinosaur book. We told him that he could be the one to present his baby sister with her very first book, and I went over with him (and therefore with his mother) some advice about reading with a little baby: She’ll probably chew the book, and that’s okay. Point to the pictures and tell her what everything is. Don’t get upset if she throws the book on the floor. She’s probably really interested in everything you do, I told the proud big brother, so if you look at the book with her, she’ll learn to like books, just like you!

And I told the mother what a great job she was doing, to have a son so ready for reading, a 4-year-old so clearly familiar with books. He’s going to love school, I said, wanting both the child and the mother to hear me. He’s going to love learning to read.

Perri Klass, M.D. is a pediatrician, the National Medical Director of Reach Out and Read, and a professor of journalism and pediatrics at New York University.

Remember When…

8 Sep

Happy International Literacy Day!

We love working for a company that has been a staple in schools and in the campaign for literacy for almost 90 years. Whenever we meet new people and they ask where we work their reaction is always, “I remember Book Clubs! I used to bring the flyer home and circle exactly what I wanted to buy! My whole flyer was filled with circles.”

Let’s not forget when the book box actually makes it to the classroom. “It was magical when the book box arrived. It helped reading feel like Christmas!” or “There was always a book our family could buy, which helped make me a reader!” We remember that feeling when the book box arrived and all we could think was: I can’t concentrate on math right now, teach—there is a box of books with my name on some of them and I want them NOW!

Just check out this video of students receiving the 4th Wimpy Kid book. Remember how excited you were when the book box showed up?

The strong nostalgia that resonates with adults about Scholastic Book Clubs is just one of the many things that we love about working here.

Having a job that brings excitement about books and reading to kids is a privilege. Seeing kids interact with Scholastic Book Clubs just like we used to do is the best inspiration we have to keep bringing the best books to all of you!

Share some of your memories with us! We’d love to hear them!
For more Book Clubs nostalgia, visit our friends over at On Our Minds!

October Dollar Books!

1 Sep

It’s that time again! Time for a sneak preview of next month’s dollar books. Look at all the great books we’ve got for you in October!

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What’s New: ClassroomsCare Fall 2010

13 Aug

Want to get involved in an easy way to help donate up to one million (yes, one million!) books to kids in need? Then this year’s ClassroomsCare program is perfect for you and your classroom.

ClassroomsCare is essentially a volunteer and motivational reading program all rolled up into one. That’s right, this year every student will have a personal reading goal of ten books. It’s our hope that this goal will encourage students to read in class and at home, because each child’s ten books will help classrooms across America trigger a one-million-book donation to amazing organizations like Reach Out and Read, Save the Children, and the Pajama Program. Plus, we’re here to help you, too. On the Web site, you’ll find FREE printables and resources to help motivate your students to read to give.

To get your classroom started, make sure to look out for the ClassroomsCare poster and bookmarks that will be included with your first order in September/October. What’s more, when you register online, we’ll send you 250 Bonus Points to help buy books for your students. We’ve also expanded the Web site to include a “Where the Books Go: See How Your Reading Makes a Difference!” page. This page is open to teachers, parents, and students. It will highlight how we work with our charity partners to get books to children who need them most so that students can really see how they are helping kids in need.

Join ClassroomsCare starting August 17, 2010.

The Real Deal: Editors David and Abby Preview Fall Titles

9 Aug

It’s back-to-school season, all right.  The squeak-squeak songs of new sneakers in the crowded hallways, the tap-tap dance of new lunchboxes on young knees, and the grind-grind of sharpened pencils wafts from the classrooms-school’s back (or will be soon!), and we’re looking forward to sharing in the enthusiasm of a new year.

We’re bursting at the seams here at Book Clubs, especially our editors, who think that this is the BEST year yet for children’s books in Clubs.  But with so many options, we know it can be hard to find the books that are just right for your child (or student). Will they be age appropriate?  Will they hold your child’s interest? Will they be the right reading level?  And this is where we love to help.  Our editors have worked tirelessly to hand-select the best new books of the year that will not only keep them interested, but will boost their reading levels and success in school.

Make sure you check out this video featuring two of our resident experts/all-stars/children’s book gurus, Editors David and Abby, to learn a little more about some of their favorite September titles.  In David’s words, “We’ve spared no effort to provide you with the very,very finest books that can be found on planet Earth in  Scholastic Book Clubs.”

Do you agree? Open up your Book Clubs September flyers (in print or online) and just bask in the wonder, the joy, and the genius of children’s books.  We have found an awesome selection of just-right books for kids across America, and we hope you think so too!

Happy 10th Birthday, Honeybee!

5 Aug

Put on your party clothes and take out the apple juice!  It’s time to celebrate Honeybee’s 10th anniversary!  Since 2000, this Book Club catalog for toddlers to fours has really grown up.

Back in 2000, Scholastic introduced Honeybee as a once-a-year catalog that would cater to the youngest children.  It was designed for caregivers who needed the perfect potty training book or the latest Karen Katz lift-the-flap.  We soon learned that these books are exactly what people were looking for; each time Honeybee was offered, its books would fly out of our warehouse.  It was all too clear that parents and teachers still wanted more… Continue reading