Scholastic Drastically Cuts Corporate-Sponsored Materials

Thanks to you, schools will be less inundated with commercialism this fall.  In response to CCFC’s three-month campaign, Scholastic has agreed to cut way back its production and distribution of corporate-sponsored teaching materials.  Late last week, Scholastic contacted us to let us know that it was reducing its InSchool Marketing division—which  produces teaching materials sponsored by corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies—by approximately 40%.  And the overwhelming majority of cuts are coming from its corporate-sponsored materials.  You can read more about it in today’s New York Times.

For years, Scholastic has produced teaching materials for corporate clients like Shell, Disney, and Nestle.  In May, after a campaign led by CCFC, Rethinking Schools, and environmental groups, Scholastic pulled biased materials paid for by the coal industry.  It was an important decision, but it didn’t go far enough.  That’s why we asked you for help convincing Scholastic to stop distributing all corporate- and industry-sponsored teaching materials in schools.

And, wow, did you step up!

  • Nearly sixty thousand of you signed petitions at CCFC’s and Change.org’s websites telling Scholastic to stop promoting corporate interests in classrooms.
  • You held a rally at Scholastic’s Facebook page.
  • Last week, while Scholastic was holding important meetings to decide the future of the program, you flooded its offices with phone calls.
  • Meanwhile, prominent educators and environmental groups signed onto our public letters demanding that Scholastic stop promoting its corporate clients by producing and distributing PR disguised as teaching materials.

We would prefer, of course, that Scholastic end all corporate sponsorships.  But this is a huge step.  Starting this fall, children will be exposed to significantly less corporate marketing in their classrooms.  Already, Scholastic has agreed to end its partnership with SunnyD to promote sugar-laden beverages in elementary schools, and materials produced for corporations like DreamWorks, Disney, Shell, and Playmobile have been removed from Scholastic’s website for teachers.  And Scholastic’s capitulation sends an important message to other companies working to subvert learning through the commercialization of teaching materials.

We are grateful that Scholastic has been so responsive to our concerns.  If you’d like to thank Scholastic for its decision, you can do so by clicking here, by leaving a message at Scholastic’s Facebook page or by tweeting @Scholastic.

Thanks for all you do,

Susan, Josh & Shara

P.S., If you like CCFC’s advocacy for commercial-free education, please consider a donation to our action fund

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