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School Specialty Partners with United Way of Richland County, OH to Support Students and Teachers as they Prepare for the New School Year
Organizations kick-start ‘community GoFundMe campaign’ to raise funds for schools in need of essential back-to-school supplies

GREENVILLE, Wis., July 28, 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 pleased to announce its collaboration with the United Way of Richland County, Ohio, to help support local-area students and teachers in getting the materials they need for the new school year. In their commitment to advancing the common good of the Richland community, School Specialty and United Way have teamed-up for the 2016 back-to-school season with an exciting crowdfunding campaign on the GoFundMe platform, which encourages all residents to work together to raise much needed dollars for their neighborhood schools.

United Way of Richland County Logo.jpg


Leveraging the Power of Community to Support Education
As the new school year approaches, many children in communities across the country do not have adequate supplies to start the year. In order to provide assistance, their teachers often have to provide these supplies out of their own funds. To address this issue, the GoFundMe campaign sponsored by United Way and School Specialty will provide a means by which all residents of Richland County could support area schools of their choice. Each school’s GoFundMe campaign will be housed on a single Richland County landing page on the GoFundMe website. Starting August 8th through August 19th, the community can access this page via the United Way of Richland County’s website to make a donation to the school of their choice.

For every $100 raised through the campaign, School Specialty will match with $100 (issued as a promo code for shopping on SchoolSpecialty.com). At the conclusion of the campaign, School Specialty will match, dollar-for-dollar, each school’s community donations up to $1,000 in merchandise credit. This will ensure that elementary students in the area have the exact supplies they need as they start the school year.

“United Way is proud to partner with School Specialty on this project to ensure that our community’s children have all the necessary supplies during the coming school year,” stated Dan Varn, Executive Director. “We recognize the need is great, with student supply lists continuing to grow each year and educators all too often spending their own money to meet the basic supply needs of their young learners. We were thrilled when School Specialty approached us to work together on this fundraiser and are excited to help engage our community members for the initiative! School Specialty’s involvement in this process was critical to getting this project off the ground and we are so appreciative of their generosity in support of the Richland Community.”

“We’re honored to team-up with United Way in helping our students and their teachers get the high-quality and innovative learning resources they need for the new school year,” commented Holly Stoots, Account Manager for School Specialty in Mansfield, OH. “The GoFundMe initiative for Education is especially important to us based on our mission to help educators engage and inspire all learners, not to mention our closeness to the Richland community being a long-time member. We were excited to jump at the call to support the United Way and give back to our fellow residents who have given so much in return to School Specialty over the years. We look forward to a productive fundraiser that will help empower our kids as they get ready to go back to school.”

Join a Public Meeting and Submit Your School’s Profile for GoFundMe
To kick this program off and inform the community at large, the School Specialty and United Way teams will be hosting a public meeting/press conference on August 3rd at School Specialty’s facility, 100 Paragon Pkwy, 2nd floor, Mansfield, OH 44903 beginning at 10:00 a.m. All are invited to attend, including teachers, PTAs and any other interested parties, to get the word out and help in the fundraising efforts for local school districts! 

Participants are also encouraged to help in creating their school’s profile on GoFundMe. This is a great opportunity to tell your school’s story on a specific need the community can help fund. To build a GoFundMe campaign page, a short write-up about your school’s needs along with a photo or two of your school, classrooms, teachers/staff, etc. would be needed. This information should be sent to Holly Stoots at holly.stoots@schoolspecialty.com by August 3, 2016.

About United Way
United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good. In 2008, United Way World Wide initiated a 10-year program designed to achieve the following goals by 2018:

  • Improve education, and cut the number of high school dropouts — 1.2 million students, every year — in half.
  • Help people achieve financial stability, and get 1.9 million working families — half the number of lower-income families who are financially unstable — on the road to economic independence.
  • Promote healthy lives, and increase by one-third the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors.

Locally, the United Way of Richland County funds 56 critical programs in 20 agencies throughout the Richland Community. These programs touch thousands of lives per year. 

For more information about United Way of Richland County, visit www.unitedwayofrichlandcounty.org.

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 www.schoolspecialty.com.

@SchoolSpecialty
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:
Dan Varn
Executive Director, United Way of Richland County
Tel: 419-525-2816
Email: dvarn@unitedwayofrichlandcounty.org

Tim Dove
Human Resources Manager, School Specialty
Tel: 419-589-1875
Email: tim.dove@schoolspecialty.com

Media Contacts:
Glenn Wiener and Dionne Manchester
GW Communications (for School Specialty)
Tel: 212-786-6011 / 212-786-6068
Email: gwiener@GWCco.com / dionne@GWCco.com

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