Green Mama's Rant: Scholastic Book Orders Suck!

Photo by eren | thisvintagechicaScholastic book orders suck

Scholastic book orders suck

I fondly remember Scholastic book orders from my childhood.  It was always so exciting to get that little newsprint catalog each month and browse the affordable books.  My children experience this same excitement, only problem is…their book orders suck!

What has happened to Scholastic’s quality?  Do they really think parents want to buy crappy cheap Chinese toys and video games instead of quality literature?

It’s been eight years since I taught elementary school full time, and even then I noticed the children were more attracted to the fuzzy diaries and the cheap horse necklaces than the actual books in book orders.  As a teacher, I liked being able to provide affordable books for families to purchase, as well as earn points redeemable for classroom books from our orders, but I hated sending home all that junk and poorly written books. [Read more...]

Remembering When Scholastic Meant Good Books

I thought it was the best day of the month: the day the Scholastic book orders came in.

 My teacher would sort the books into piles on the windowsill and hand out slips of paper recording the orders we’d filled out two weeks before, and we’d file by, grabbing the books we’d ordered and taking them back to our desks.  Everybody always ordered at least one book so that they would receive the free poster, generally some cute photo of a baby animal.  Remember?

I had a generous book club budget of ten dollars;  on a good month that would procure five or six books.  The best part, as I remember it, was that there were always a few 99 cent books offered, generally classics; and to stretch my book dollar I never failed to add these onto my order.  In this way I came to read Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet, Sterling North’s Rascal, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man.  These were all titles I never would have chosen otherwise.

Like so many things from my childhood, the Scholastic book club has changed, and not for the better.  It’s glitzier, it’s flashier- and it’s not all about the books.

According to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, about one-third of what is offered in your child’s Scholastic flier is not a book.  Instead, your child is being marketed video games, makeup, jewelry, and toys.  In school.  In their “book club” order. [Read more...]

Fabien Cousteau Joins the Lexus Eco Challenge to Inspire Young Minds

Fabien Cousteau, left, listens to students in Bryn Mawr, Pa. share concerns about the environment.  The Bryn Mawr school was one of the 14 first-place teams from last year’s challenge. Photo courtesy of The Ocean Futures Society.

Lexus and Scholastic announce the launch of the second annual Lexus Eco Challenge. The Challenge is open to middle and high school students with a focus on learning about the environment and taking action to improve it. One million dollars in grants and scholarships will be awarded to winning students, teachers and schools.

This year, The Challenge will be joined by Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau. Cousteau currently works with his father, Jean-Michel Cousteau for the environmental organization, Ocean Futures Society. Cousteau’s role with the challenge will be to help inspire more students to participate in The Challenge. [Read more...]

Scholastic Goes Green

green-scholastic.JPGParents are often the biggest converts to the green movement and those parents often become vigilant about going green. Often aiding them in their quest are their children and manufacturers who cater to this market.

Now the nations largest publisher and distributor of children’s books has joined the movement. Scholastic, announced recently that the company is further strengthening its sustainable paper procurement practices. Their goal:

…to increase its publication paper purchase of FSC-certified paper to 30% and its use of recycled paper to 25%, of which 75% will be post-consumer waste.

[Read more...]

Green Series: Kid’s Media Gets a Little Greener

Green SeriesEditor’s note: This is the last of a weekly guest spot by children’s media consultant Ashley. Ashley is a television and online producer and Executive Editor of Children’s Media Consultant.com. She holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a M.A. concentrating in children’s educational media and preschool ecology from New York University. She resides with her family in downtown New York City. You can visit her blog at childrensmediaconsultant.com.

What an eco-friendly week for children’s media. Just when I thought “why isn’t kid’s TV more eco-friendly?,” other types of content delivery have stepped up to the plate to teach kids about environmental issues and green living choices.

magicschoolbus200.jpgScholastic and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined forces to release “The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up,” a new book from the “Magic School Bus” series that explores the ways people can protect themselves (including their lungs) from air pollution. Scholastic’s traveling Magic School Bus, a traveling interactive science experience for kids, has also added a new, more sustainable filter which has already reduced its diesel particulate by up to 90 percent. [Read more...]