12-Year-Old West Virginia girl’s BIG idea awarded $25,000 community grant for special needs accessible playground
New York — October 5, 2009 — It only takes a little…to BE BIG! Scholastic Media (NASDAQ: SCHL) today announced the winners of the first annual “BE BIG In your Community Contest” as part of its ongoing Clifford The Big Red Dog® BE BIG!™ campaign to support civic engagement. Six hundred entries representing more than 16,000 children, parents, teachers and community leaders ranging in age from 8 to 67 poured in; 12-year-old Madelon Kerns’ BIG idea for a special needs accessible playground will be awarded the $25,000 grant from the BE BIG Fund. The West Virginia student will see her idea come to life with the support of the Volunteer Action Center of the Mid-Ohio Valley, an affiliate of the HandsOn Network. The national contest invited everyone to submit a BIG idea that demonstrates Clifford’s Big Ideas (Share, Help Others, Be Kind, Be Responsible, Play Fair, Be a Good Friend, Believe in Yourself, Have Respect, Work Together and Be Truthfu) to enter for a chance to win a community grant to be used toward implementing the winning proposals.
“Madelon, her team and their winning idea truly embodies the spirit of what it means to BE BIG,” said Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Media and Executive Vice President of Scholastic Inc, the global children’s publishing, education and media company. “The BE BIG campaign is about inspiring people of all ages to work together to embrace Clifford’s Big Ideas; Scholastic is delighted that so many children and families are committed to such creative and innovative ways to improve the lives of others while taking pride in service to their communities.”
Kerns was inspired to submit her BIG idea when she was unable to play in the local park with a friend who is in a wheelchair. With the help of her mother, the Junior League of Parkersburg and Boundless Playgrounds™, the idea to build a special needs accessible playground – “JuLePs Pathways” – was developed. The grant from the BE BIG Fund will be used to build the entrance to the park. In her contest submission, Madelon cited being inspired by an episode of Clifford which tells the story of a three-legged dog and how Clifford and his friends work collaboratively to ensure that they can all play together.
“I’m thrilled and excited about this BIG prize,” said Madelon. “Clifford understands that all kids like to have fun – no matter what!”