Now this is BIG!

Megan Kaesshaefer  //  Oct 16, 2013

Now this is BIG!

Julia Boudreau of Scholastic Media is guest blogging today to announce the winners of the 2013 ‘Clifford BE BIG in Your Community Contest’!

We can think of no BIGGER inspiration to do BIG things in our community than our very own Clifford The Big Red Dog! Clifford has been inspiring us, big and small, to be better citizens with his 10 BIG ideas (Share, Play Fair, Have Respect, Be Kind, Work Together, Be Responsible, Be Truthful, Be A Good Friend, Help Others and Believe in Yourself) for over 50 years!  So much so – that we launched a dedicated campaign around it called BE BIG. It’s all about inviting kids, parents and teachers alike to take action and raise awareness for how Clifford’s BIG Ideas the world a better place.

As part of that campaign, each year Scholastic works with Points of Light, the largest volunteer network in the nation, to support the ‘BE BIG In Your Community Contest’. The national contest invites participants to submit a BIG idea that demonstrates Clifford’s Big Ideas for a chance to win a community grant to be used toward implementing the winning proposals. Since its inception in 2009, the contest has generated over 4,200 BIG ideas from more than 100,000 children, parents, teachers and community leaders, and has awarded over $200,000 in grants to bring these BIG ideas to life.

Today, we are delighted to share the news of our 2013 contest winners! Teacher Karrie Marciniak from Bay City, Michigan was selected as the grand prize winner for her BIG idea to implement a program in her school called ‘Paws for a Book: Readers Rock.’ The program will engage students in grades K-5 in a continuous service project through the introduction of service dogs into the classroom. The students and dogs will take a variety of fieldtrips to homes for the elderly to read to and visit with the residents. Marciniak’s goal for the program is to help children become more confident, accurate and fluent readers – given the service dogs are such non-judgmental and patient listeners! By teaming up with a local service dog organization, she hopes that the children’s reading skills and overall confidence will be strengthened, and that the service dogs will have a positive impact on the school and community.

Five equally compelling BIG ideas were also chosen as First Place Prize winners to receive community grants to help implement their winning ideas.

For a complete gallery of our 2013 winners– click here. And remember – it only takes a little to BE BIG!