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School Specialty Partners with the Gloria Pointer Foundation to Empower Young Children in Ghana, West Africa through Vital Resources for Their Education

GREENVILLE, Wis., Aug. 25, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) (“School Specialty”, “SSI” or “the Company”), a leading distributor of supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources to the education, healthcare and other marketplaces, is honored to collaborate with the Gloria Pointer Foundation to provide students in Ghana, West Africa with much-needed supplies (incl. pencils, pens, crayons, notebooks, chalk, math and science materials, and physical education equipment) for their schooling and to help improve their quality of life through education.

SSI-Gloria Pointer Pic 1.jpg
Presentation of School Specialty Supplies to the Gloria Pointer Foundation

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

“School Specialty is excited to join forces with Dr. Yvonne Pointer and the extended team of the Gloria Pointer Foundation supported by partner, We ACT, to deliver essential materials and tools to the children in Ghana for their life-long learning! We recognize how important it is to help others and lead with action, sharing the understanding that education is the foundation of our global community’s wellbeing, safety and prosperity,” stated Joseph M. Yorio, president and chief executive officer of School Specialty. “We believe the classroom supplies provided will greatly enhance the educational experience of all the young students and foster learning opportunities that empower them to be the best they can be.”

Driven by the brutal murder of her 14-year old daughter Gloria in 1984, Dr. Yvonne Pointer not only became an advocate to find Gloria’s killer but she also became an advocate for children everywhere – not wanting another parent to ever suffer such an unspeakable loss. For more than three decades she has served as an activist and humanitarian, committed to creating a lasting legacy for her daughter and helping the youth in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, across the U.S. and around the world realize their dreams through education. As a result of her steadfast activism, the Gloria Pointer Foundation was formed, along with the Gloria Pointer Scholarship Fund in Cleveland and the Gloria Pointer Teen Movement in Ghana. The mission of these organizations is to reduce poverty and violence by increasing educational opportunities.

Following a chance exchange in 2003 with a Ghanaian boy who had lost all hope until he happened upon an article telling the story of Gloria, Dr. Pointer and her friends were inspired to make a difference in this boy’s life as well as the lives of many children they would eventually meet in several villages in Africa. Out of this, the Gloria Pointer Memorial School opened its doors in 2015 in Ghana. Since then three schools have been built and a fourth one is underway.

“We are elated and extremely grateful for the outpouring of support received from the School Specialty team through their generous donation of much-needed supplies for our young students and their teachers in Ghana. So many children don’t have access to the critical tools they need for everyday learning and improving their lives – even the most basic supplies of paper, pencils and chalk – so it is a wonderful blessing when partners such as School Specialty and We ACT can provide assistance and share their resources with us,” commented Dr. Yvonne Pointer, creator of the Gloria Pointer Foundation. “We hope this is only the beginning of a mutual collaboration and look forward to putting the donated supplies to great use at our schools and making a positive impact on the communities in Ghana.”

In a presentation held this week at School Specialty’s Distribution Center in Mansfield, Ohio, around 75 representatives from the Gloria Pointer Foundation, including Dr. Yvonne Pointer (founder) and Dr. Whitaker (mentor); Chief Nana Kodwo Eduakwa V of the Atonkwa village in Elmina, Ghana; the We ACT community advocacy group, including Brigitte Coles, Angel Ross-Taylor, Timothy Holt and Patricia Harrelson (co-founders); and the School Specialty team, including Joe Yorio (CEO), Todd Shaw (EVP - Operations), Joe Geltz (SVP - Process Excellence and Fulfillment), Johnny Cline (Director of Operations), Tim Dove (Senior Manager, Human Resources) and many other members of staff joined in a celebratory handover of the supplies. For a view of the presentation, please see YouTube video at

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:
Dr. Yvonne Pointer
The Gloria Pointer Foundation
Tel: 216-999-8573

Angel Ross-Taylor
Tel: 419-610-6915

Tim Dove
School Specialty
Tel: 419-589-1875

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

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