Celebrate yourself with Celebrate Your Name Week!

MyNameIt’s time to party! Maybe your birthday isn’t in March, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate yourself. National Celebrate Your Name Week (CYNW) kicks off March 3rd and it’s an entire week dedicate to you… or at least your name. Have you ever thought about how you got your name? Are there any interesting facts about it? This is the time to discover them!

CYNW got me thinking about own moniker and here are a few fun tidbits I discovered.

  • Both my given name and my Hebrew name come from my great grandmother on my mom’s side of the family. In Jewish tradition, children aren’t named after living relatives. I was given an “L” name to honor the passing of my mom’s grandmother.
  • According the website PokeMyName.com, which has tons of interesting information, the name Lauren is the 393rd most popular name in the US. In 1983, the year I was born, it was the 24th most popular name.
  • The name Lauren is derived from the word Laurel which is symbolic of honor and victory.

And there’s a lot more to learn!

Continue reading Celebrate yourself with Celebrate Your Name Week!


We are some Lucky Ducklings!

Lucky Ducklings An author and illustrator signing is always an exciting occurrence but there is something special when it’s a picture book. At an age that includes more questions than statements, toddlers are just as interested in the ‘how’ as they are the ‘what.’ Being able to meet and interact with the creators of a book makes it so much more exciting and valuable than the bound end result.  Instead of a book from a shelf, the autograph makes the book Emily’s or Tyler’s.

With this in mind, we thought it would be cool for us to begin a Picture Book of the Month. Beginning in March, we will be hosting an author or illustrator at the beginning of each month so we can carry signed stock of their picture book all month long! We’ll be offering it at a 10% discount to our guests and if you ask, we’ll gift wrap the book for free because we know just how great a gift a signed book makes! Continue reading We are some Lucky Ducklings!

The jury is in!

Art Judging 2February has been an exciting month here at Scholastic: in addition to revealing the first of seven new Harry Potter covers and celebrating Clifford the Big Red Dog’s 50th birthday, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the results of the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. (We can’t wait to see the incredible work that students in grades 7-12 submitted this year!) Below is a guest post from our friends at the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, who have been busy with judging.

What a year! The 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards received more than 230,000 student works in 27 categories of art and writing – 20% more than last year! Over 60,000 students received regional awards and 15,000 Gold Key works were reviewed on the national level earlier this month. As we wrap up this year’s judging process, we want to congratulate all students and teachers who participated in the 90th anniversary year of the Scholastic Awards. We also want to give a big thank you to the incredible artists and writers who helped us judge this year’s submissions.This year’s jurors included Awards alum Red Grooms, Fantasy writer and alum Peter S. Beagle, curators Matthew Higgs and Nora Halpern, photographer Andres Serrano, and artist Cat Mazza– just to name a few!

National Award winners will be announced on our website on March 15! You can click here to see what the jurors had to say about this year’s art submissions, and here to view a slideshow of behind-the-scenes photos from the judging process. Congrats to all the regional winners!

Read it Forward on World Read Aloud Day

Unknown-1March 6, 2013, is World Read Aloud Day, an awareness day advocating for literacy as a human right. World Read Aloud Day creates a community of people who support every child’s right to learn to read and to have access to books and technology that will make them lifelong readers. Our friends at LitWorld founded this special day, and we’re excited to share with you resources and details on how you can participate.

Read It Forward
Celebrate the day by reading aloud, giving away a book, or taking action in any way you can to “Read It Forward” on behalf of the 793 million people who cannot yet read. Everyone can change the world and Read It Forward, creating a ripple effect that resonates around the world with the power of story and shared words.  Continue reading Read it Forward on World Read Aloud Day

Women’s History—rebel with a cause


Our Women’s History Month Special recaptures the long-ago era of pioneering journalist Nellie Bly—albeit digitally. You’ll find excerpts from Bly’s most famous odysseys: “Ten Days in a Mad-House” and “Around the World in 72 Days,” as well as Common Core-ready resources for middle and high school students, including evidence-based questions, a chronology, and a booklist.

Bly’s old-world syntax may prove challenging for today’s students. But patience will yield the discovery of a keen observer with a sharp wit. Anyone who lives in fear of the alarm clock will surely appreciate this passage from “Around the World in 72 Days”: “Those who think that night is the best part of the day and that morning was made for sleep, know how uncomfortable they feel when for some reason they have to get up with—well, with the milkman.”

Of course, students won’t remember the days when milk was delivered before dawn in thick glass bottles. Maybe you won’t either.

But thankfully, gossip has not gone the way of the landline. “I think it is only natural for travelers to take an innocent pleasure in studying the peculiarities of their fellow companions,” Bly wrote in 1889. “We were not [at sea] many days until everybody that was able to be about had added a little to their knowledge of those that were not.”

As Bly shows us, some diversions are timeless—and knowledge is always worth acquiring.


Behind the scenes: how Scholastic books get to you!

A mosiac of different NSO scenes
A mosiac of different NSO scenes

Whether it is a memory from your school days or a present day event with your child, chances are you can easily describe the feeling of excitement when the Scholastic Book Clubs boxes get delivered to the classroom. But have you ever wondered how that box with the familiar red logo got to there? I recently had the privilege of seeing the process firsthand, and it is pretty amazing!

The magic happens in Jefferson City, MO where the Scholastic National Service Organization (lovingly nicknamed NSO) houses millions of books and is home to the intricate technology and passionate employees who personally put shipments together. And it isn’t just Book Clubs, it is everything. When I was able to visit the main distribution center, I thought I had an idea of how the process would look – I didn’t. It is so much cooler than I ever imagined! Continue reading Behind the scenes: how Scholastic books get to you!

A new parent talks: learning how to read every day

webelongtogetherWhen you are pregnant, you have so many ideas about what parenthood is going to be like. You have months to plan everything. (From experience I can say that is even truer if you happen to be put on months of bed rest!) And for us, a family that was reading to our daughters even before they were born, there was never a question of if I was going to read to our children but what I would read to them. (I was definitely inspired by our Read Every Day campaign!)

So we prepared for all the reading we’d be doing:

  • When Michael talked about the books he was reading to his daughter and son every night I made sure to note his recommendations.
  • A pair of bookshelves was securely attached to walls and began to be filled with brightly colored classic children’s stories.
  • A small library was painstakingly curated for our yet unborn daughters.

We were set.  A pair of librarians was ready to welcome a pair of tiny readers into the world.

And then.

Continue reading A new parent talks: learning how to read every day