Scholastic is gathering together materials in an effort to highlight its illustrated books geared towards parents, teachers, booksellers, librarians, and caregivers to share books with children. The Story Starts Here campaign was inspired by recent reports both by Scholastic and the American Academy of Pediatrics demonstrating that rates of reading aloud with children dipped after age five. In an effort to stimulate reading picture books with kids, Scholastic has created a website featuring handouts, discussion guides, and more, and has a number of events and more in store in the coming year:
- Scholastic is enlisting “picture book ambassadors,” including booksellers, librarians, and teachers to spread the word about picture books.
- The company sent a mailing last fall to independent bookstores with promotional merchandise and title lists.
- Scholastic reached out to bloggers last December to encourage giving books as gifts throughout the holiday season, and v-p and editorial director Liza Baker did a 12-market satellite radio tour to further encourage parents to keep picture books in mind as gifts.
- The campaign will make a strong presence at ALA Midwinter this year in Boston, with authors Barbara McClintock, Sean Qualls, and Selina Alko promoting their work with signed prints, booth promotions, and original artwork.
- Picture book events at bookstores are planned throughout 2016 as well.