The end of this chapter: A fond farewell to Scholastic

Michael Barrett  //  Mar 16, 2018

The end of this chapter: A fond farewell to Scholastic

How do you process and write down four-and-half years of magical experiences, ranging from a thrilling “Muggle mob” to enchanting employee holiday Book Fairs to awe-inspiring Art & Writing Awards celebrations at Carnegie Hall, into one blog entry? 

After several drafts and rewrites, I realized it all boils down to those cherished moments that made me proud to be an employee at Scholastic.

My "top 10" memories:

  1. Meeting my literary hero, R.L. Stine, and trying my best not to “geek out” when he signed my copy of Goosebumps: The Night of the Living Dummy.
  2. Celebrating Clifford the Big Red Dog’s birthday every Valentine’s Day at the NASDAQ Marketsite. What better way to start your morning than ringing the Opening Bell with fellow employees and one crimson canine?
  3. Hosting a summer reading event in Bryant Park and living my childhood dream to finally climb aboard The Magic School Bus
  4. Watching The Hunger Games, Goosebumps, Captain Underpants, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Wonderstruck come to life on the silver screen.
  5. Sharing national research from the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report with the media about the importance of reading aloud to children. What still gives me goosebumps (no pun intended) is seeing data years later that shows parents listened to this message and reading aloud has become a more frequent practice with families across the U.S. 
  6. Crying tears of joy and feeling such pride for the creative teens honored during the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national celebration at Carnegie Hall. 
  7. Getting the chance to experience firsthand the magic of Harry Potter during a “Muggle Mob”, which celebrated the script book release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two.
  8. Sharing with parents and educators about the powerful effect that Scholastic Book Clubs has on children nationwide. This monthly flyer helped me become a confident reader growing up by offering me choice and access to affordable titles.
  9. Witnessing the popularity of the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge grow every year and, ultimately, helping more families and educators keep kids reading for fun during summer break.  
  10. Most importantly, sharing these memories every day with my “work family”. I will miss them dearly. They transformed this job into a career with purpose.

To all of the OOM readers out there, thank you for taking this journey with me.

To best describe my final thoughts about this current chapter closing and another one just beginning, I leave you with a scene from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:  

 “Harry nodded. He somehow could not find words to tell them what it meant to him, to see them all ranged there, on his side. Instead, he smiled, raised a hand in farewell, turned around and led the way out of the station towards the sunlit street...”

I wish you all, for the final time, “happy reading.”