Did you know that Scholastic has offices in 13 countries and exports books to nearly every country in the world? While the customers we serve around the world are incredibly diverse, they share the same love of reading and learning that brings us all together. Here are a few of the exciting things that happened across the globe at Scholastic this year!
My Afghan Library
In 2013, Scholastic worked with the US Embassy in Kabul to distribute more than 2 million books to schools in Afghanistan. The program will help to meet Afghan schools’ urgent need for quality children’s books that are appealing to beginning readers. The titles were selected and approved by the Afghan Ministry of Education and all of the books were made available in both Dari and Pashto, the main dialects in Afghanistan. More than 400 teachers were trained to use the reading program so that they can promote literacy and encourage a love of reading for the children of Afghanistan.
Reading Together in India and Malaysia
Earlier this month, five thousand students at one thousand schools in India took a day to celebrate books and reading for a “One Nation Reading Together” event. In the city of Chennai, more than 4,000 of those students came together for the largest book gathering in Scholastic India history!
Scholastic Malaysia held their annual nationwide reading program, READ2013: One Nation Reading Together, and succeeded in getting four million students to read together. On October 28th, every student in Malaysia between the ages of 7 and 17 had a book in hand and read for 2,013 seconds to celebrate this year’s program. The event happens each year with the help of the Malaysian Education Ministry, and each participating school received 50 books to encourage students to keep reading!
Scholastic UK Offers Free Copies of the New National Curriculum
This year, England’s Department for Education announced that it will release the new National Curriculum for primary and secondary state schools in digital format only. Scholastic UK has a strong relationship with teachers, and the staff there came to realize that printed curriculum materials were still strongly preferred, especially for large documents. To help teachers, Scholastic UK is offering a free printed copy of the 170+ page National Curriculum to each school in the country. (If you’re in the UK and want to be sure that your school receives a copy, you can request one until December 31, 2013 here).
The Magic School Bus in China
In October, Magic School Bus author and illustrator Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen made their first trip to China. Ms. Frizzle and everyone’s favorite school bus have sold more than 8 million Chinese language books since 2007, and their popularity keeps growing. Joanna and Bruce had the opportunity to visit schools and libraries, meet with the team at Scholastic Asia, and even spend some time with a panda bear! They loved meeting fans of The Magic School Bus and exploring China.
Summer Challenge International Participation
Each year, we encourage kids to keep reading during the summer through the Scholastic Summer Challenge, a free summer reading program that invites kids to log the minutes they spend reading as they Read for the World Record. In 2013, kids across the globe logged 176,438,473 minutes read on the website, and an astonishing 30 countries participated!
Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen visit fans of The Magic School Bus in China