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School Specialty’s Childcraft® to Showcase Its Award-Winning Solutions for Early Childhood Development at the 2016 National Head Start Conference & Expo
Company to highlight 70 years serving the needs of young learners through innovative curriculum, supplies, furniture, and equipment

GREENVILLE, Wis., May 10, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Childcraft®, the award-winning early childhood education brand of School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) (“School Specialty”, “SSI” or “the Company”), will be demonstrating its latest solutions at the 2016 National Head Start Conference and Expo, May 16-20 in Nashville, Tennessee. As part of the exhibition, Childcraft will also commemorate its 70th birthday, highlighting major achievements in supporting all young learners with every need. Attendees are invited to share in insightful presentations and fun giveaways at Booth #225. After the conference, donations of Childcraft furniture and supplies will be made available to the Metropolitan Action Commission Head Start Program of Nashville and Davidson County.

School Specialty Childcraft Logo


“We’re thrilled to join with the Head Start community, including administrators, teachers and parents from across the country, in this year’s National Head Start Conference, to spotlight the latest advancements, innovations and opportunities that are helping our children to learn, grow and succeed,” commented Andrea Johnson, Director of Marketing – Early Childhood and F&E at School Specialty. “The Childcraft team is particularly excited to be a part of this pre-eminent gathering as we celebrate 70 years of delivering assorted curriculum and furniture solutions designed to give every child a strong start for a bright future by nurturing and inspiring their individual learning styles. We look forward to engaging with attendees as the industry continues to make great strides.”

Visitors at the Childcraft Booth (#225) will be able to view award-winning manipulatives for science and math, as well as art supplies, tools for English Language Learners (ELL) and Special Education, and furnishings and accessories for Pre-K/toddlers, among other products that help early childhood educators cultivate the lives of little learners from birth to grade 2. Further, attendees will have the chance to share in a special presentation with Occupational Therapist, Educator and Special Needs Subject-Matter Expert Cecilia Cruse, MS, OTR/L. Ms. Cruse will be discussing the “10 Terrific Tips for Building Great Fine Motor Skills” at the booth on Thursday, May 19 at 4:00 pm. Visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy tasty treats and participate in games to win various prizes.

To highlight the importance of Arts Education for vulnerable children in Title I and Head Start programs nationwide, School Specialty has proudly partnered with Crayon Collection to donate almost 11,000 new crayons for classrooms this year. With the goal of bringing attention to the efforts of Crayon Collection, School Specialty will donate 400-piece sets of School Smart Crayons to six Head Starts registered at this year’s conference. “We are extremely grateful to the School Specialty-Childcraft family for their very generous contribution and willingness to collaborate with Crayon Collection to not only strengthen art education programs for schools in need of supplies, but also to drive social change, environmental awareness and community bonds that are crucial to helping every student reach his or her full potential. We look forward to building our partnership for years to come!” stated Anna Asssenmacher, Executive Director. Since 2009, the Los Angeles-based non-profit has saved millions of crayons from landfills and connected hundreds of classrooms with Crayon Collection partners, including businesses, that have generously provided thousands of gently used crayons to support arts education for every child.

As part of its commitment to local communities, Childcraft will also donate after the conference its display of new and innovative furniture and supplies to the Metropolitan Action Commission Head Start Program of Nashville and Davidson County. Items will run the gamut -- storage bins, sensory balls, play/activity sets, desks, tables, chairs, bean bags, electronic dictionaries and reading pens for language support, washable paints and non-toxic markers, brushes, construction paper, and more.

Ms. Johnson concluded, “Over the last seven decades, Childcraft’s end-to-end, ground-breaking offerings have aligned with early childhood standards to serve educators in every type of classroom environment.  We look forward to another 70 years of leadership in fostering lifelong learners from the earliest and most crucial stages of their lives.”

The National Head Start Conference and Expo is the largest national event devoted to the Head Start and Early Head Start community. More than 4,000 executive directors, directors, administrators, managers, teachers, policy council members, and parents from every state and territory are expected to gather for the 43rd annual event.

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 Contact:
Andrea Johnson
Director of Marketing – Early Childhood and F&E
Tel: 920-740-2361
Email: andrea.johnson@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

School Specialty, Inc