Date of Release:
May 14, 2011
Josh Golin (617-896-9369; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Schools (503-282-6848; email@example.com)
Nick Berning, Friends of the Earth (703-587-4454; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kyle Ash, Greenpeace USA (202-319-2417; email@example.com)
For Immediate Release
Controversial Elementary School Materials Withdrawn After Protests
BOSTON -- May 14 -- Yesterday afternoon, Scholastic announced that it would stop distributing “The United States of Energy,” a controversial fourth grade curriculum paid for by the American Coal Foundation. The materials were also removed from Scholastic’s website. Scholastic’s decision came after a two-day campaign led by the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), Rethinking Schools, Friends of the Earth (FoE), Greenpeace USA, and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD).
Statement of CCFC, Rethinking Rethinking Schools, FoE, CBD, and Greenpeace USA:
"Scholastic’s decision to stop distributing coal industry-funded teaching materials in elementary classrooms 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. It is also a testament to the activism of thousands of advocates for children, education, and the environment who are determined not to let the coal industry buy its way into schools.
We are pleased that Scholastic is no longer working with the coal industry and has committed to thoroughly reviewing its policy and editorial procedures on sponsored classroom materials. In addition to the American Coal Foundation, Scholastic’s InSchool Marketing clients have included the Cartoon Network, Claritin, SunnyD, Disney, and McDonald’s. Scholastic also worked with The Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, which is completely funded by corporate interests. It is our hope that Scholastic will choose to stop distributing all corporate and industry sponsored classroom materials. Children everywhere deserve a commercial-free education."
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (www.commercialfreechildhood.org) is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration among organizations and individuals who care about children. CCFC is a project of Third Sector New England (www.tsne.org).
Rethinking Schools (www.rethinkingschools.org) is a nonprofit organization that publishes a quarterly magazine and other educational materials. Rethinking Schools seeks to provide practical guidance and supportive networking for educators who want to offer academically challenging curricula for all students and to engage students in learning contexts that emphasize equality, anti-racism, and social justice.
Friends of the Earth (http://foe.org/) is fighting to defend the environment and create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.
The Center for Biological Diversity (www.biologicaldiversity.org) is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 320,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
Greenpeace USA (http://www.greenpeace.org/) is a 40-year old action-based, independent, global environmental organization. We take action to protect our oceans and forests, eliminate the use of harmful chemicals and transition to a world powered by clean and unlimited energy sources like the wind and sun.