Late Friday, Scholastic, one of the world’s largest educational publishers, announced that it would immediately stop distributing “The United States of Energy,” a controversial fourth grade curriculum paid for by the American Coal Foundation. The announcement came just two days after CCFC and Rethinking Schools launched a campaign demanding that Scholastic stop pushing coal in elementary schools. It is a significant victory for anyone who believes that schools should be free of industry PR and teach fully and honestly about coal and other forms of energy.
Scholastic’s decision demonstrates the growing strength of our movement and is a testament to your activism. CCFC members old and new were determined to stop the coal industry from buying its way into schools. You flooded Scholastic with emails and promoted our campaign extensively to your networks.
Our campaign received significant media attention: a great article and a highly-favorable editorial in the New York Times, as well as coverage in CNN Money, PRI’s Living on Earth, and Mother Jones. It also attracted new allies. In addition to Rethinking Schools, we were joined in the campaign by Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and the Center for Biological Diversity.
We applaud Scholastic’s decision to sever its ties with the coal industry and its decision to pull the one-sided materials. We are even more pleased that Scholastic has announced it will review its policies and editorial procedures on sponsored classroom materials. If you would like to thank Scholastic, you can do so by writing to CEO Richard Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the American Coal Foundation, Scholastic’s InSchool Marketing clients have included Cartoon Network, Claritin, SunnyD, Disney, and McDonald’s. We believe that, with your help, we can convince Scholastic to stop distributing all corporate and industry-sponsored classroom materials.
In the coming days, we’ll be asking you to join in our next effort to rid schools of harmful commercialism. But today, let’s celebrate what we can accomplish when we work together to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers.