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School Specialty and the College Football Playoff Foundation Celebrate Educators and the Advancement of Learning with the Award of Classroom Makeovers at the 2018 Extra Yard for Teachers Summit
Atlanta teachers and students to benefit from more modern, safe and inspirational learning spaces

GREENVILLE, Wis., Jan. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) (“School Specialty”, “SSI” or “the Company”) through its ongoing collaboration with the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation, is pleased to announce the donation of three new state-of-the-art classrooms to Atlanta, Georgia schools, as part of the CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard Classroom Makeover Project and SSI’s 21st Century Safe School initiative. These three makeovers will be presented at the CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers Summit to be held on January 6 at the Georgia World Congress Center, ahead of the College Football Playoff National Championship on January 8 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.


The latest classroom makeover awards follow recent projects at the M. Agnes Jones Elementary School and M.R. Hollis Innovation Academy in Atlanta. “I am simply blown away by the classroom makeover at the M. Agnes Jones Elementary School. What a wonderful way to honor such an amazing teacher and provide an incredible learning environment for our students,” stated Meria Carstarphen, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent. “As a three-time superintendent, I have been fortunate to see many classroom makeovers, but I can honestly say I have never seen one as cool as the one that School Specialty did at Jones. The look on the students’ faces was absolutely priceless and I know that because of these efforts their love for learning will grow exponentially. We are thankful for the tremendous classroom makeover at the M.R. Hollis Innovation Academy as well!”

School Specialty, featuring SSI Guardian, is very excited about the makeover success to date and building its partnership with the CFP Foundation to bring even more vital 21st Century Safe Classroom improvements to schools across the U.S. These makeovers provide essential supplies, curriculum materials, furniture and equipment, and security upgrades to promote learning experiences that inspire all students for success and assist them in becoming the best leaders they can be.

“As we embark on a new journey to bring the 21stCentury Safe School phenomenon to classrooms across the country, we are committed to helping teachers and administrators create the most conducive learning environment possible for student productivity and leadership,” said Joseph M. Yorio, President and Chief Executive Officer of School Specialty. “Our mission is to work with schools across the board to achieve a totally integrated learning environment; supporting secure, inspirational, engaging, and outcome-oriented centers of education that nurture the whole child – mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally. Each makeover represents our best thinking about how to create a comprehensive learning environment. We are honored to team-up with the CFP Foundation to bring this program to fruition and look forward to growing our partnership to deliver greater benefits to those in need.”

In addition to awarding the new classroom makeovers at the Extra Yard for Teachers Summit, School Specialty will support educators through special workshops with industry experts Dr. Peggy Mitchell Clarke and Dr. Ken Wesson to address some of the crucial issues affecting today’s educational settings. Dr. Mitchell Clarke is a clinical psychologist, consultant and professor (ret.) with more than 30 years’ experience in educating the public on mental health, wellness and safety, and sharing effective psychological strategies/principles to help people live well and stay safe. Dr. Wesson has over 35 years in the industry, serving as a university professor and administrator, consultant, and renowned speaker on the neuroscience of learning for educational organizations and institutions throughout the U.S. and internationally. Respectively, they will lead insightful sessions on January 6, entitled Stress Management, Burnout Prevention, and Self Care (Dr. Mitchell Clarke - 12:00-12:45pm and 4:15-5:00pm ET) and Developing Early Literacy through Active Learning Experiences (Dr. Wesson - 1:00-1:45pm ET).

“We are grateful for the ongoing partnership with School Specialty and the amazing commitment they have to education and teachers across the country,” said Britton Banowsky, CFP Foundation Executive Director. “Their transformation of classrooms into innovative learning environments is simply extraordinary. They are a wonderful organization and we hope to continue this work and its impact well into the future.”

2018 marks the second year that School Specialty and the CFP Foundation will partner on the Extra Yard Classroom Makeover Project. As of January 6, a total of 15 makeovers will be awarded, each valued at $25,000. Since its inception in 2013, the CFP Foundation’s programs and grants have impacted more than 135,000 teachers, 4.25 million students and 18,500 schools through its Extra Yard for Teachers initiative. Through the extremely visible and powerful platform of college football, the CFP Foundation continues to effectively encourage and equip teachers across the country.

SSI Guardian’s President, Michael Yorio, continued, “It’s a wonderful feeling working side by side with our nation’s teachers in supporting their students through innovative spaces that enable true 21st century, safe learning that fosters the whole individual and generates positive outcomes. For our dedicated teachers who work tirelessly to ensure our children receive a sound education, having the necessary resources can be a significant challenge. We are committed to helping lift the load by providing them with fully-funded classroom makeovers that ensure their students’ advancement as well as their own professional development. As a closing gift, School Specialty will also donate its display furniture from the Summit to Atlanta Public Schools.”

About the College Football Playoff Foundation and Extra Yard for Teachers
The College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation is the charitable arm of the College Football Playoff, supporting education across the country. The CFP Foundation’s primary platform, Extra Yard for Teachers, elevates the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers through the implementation of programs in four focus areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development. The CFP Foundation utilizes multiple partnerships to execute its initiatives and support positive educational outcomes. To learn more, visit and follow Extra Yard for Teachers (@CFPExtraYard) on social media.

About School Specialty, Inc.
School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace. The Company designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources. Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential. Through its SSI Guardian subsidiary, the Company is also committed to school, healthcare and corporate workplace safety by offering the highest quality curriculum, training and safety and security products. Finally, through its SOAR Life Products brand, the Company offers thousands of products that sharpen cognitive skills and build physical and mental strength in fun and creative ways. From childhood through adulthood, they help individuals live life to the fullest – engaged, happy and well.  SOAR Life Products is a customized offering for hospitals, long-term care, therapeutic facilities, home care, surgery centers, day care centers, physician offices, and clinics. For more information about School Specialty, visit

Connect with School Specialty on social media; search School Specialty on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. For ideas and resources, educational trends and inspiration for today’s educators – visit the Schoolyard blog.

Company Contacts:                                                   
Michael Yorio                                                             
President – SSI Guardian                                             
Tel: 202-815-8591                                                      

Britton Banowsky                                                        
Executive Director – CFP Foundation                          
Tel: 469-706-9002                                                      

Media Contacts:
Glenn Wiener and Dionne Manchester
GW Communications (for School Specialty)
Tel: 212-786-6011 / 212-786-6068
Email: /

Tony Fay
Tony Fay Public Relations (for CFP Foundation)
Tel: 972-273-0794


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Source: School Specialty, Inc