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School Specialty Takes New LEAP Into Schools With Enhanced Early Childhood Learning Solution

GREENVILLE, Wis., Nov. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) ("School Specialty", "the Company", or "@SchoolSpecialty"), a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace, today announced that the latest edition of the Language Enrichment Activities for Preschool (LEAP) will soon be available as part of the Company's Early Childhood product offering. Making its debut at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Conference & Expo to be held November 5-8, 2014 in Dallas, TX, the new LEAP Into School! solution is an inclusive, multi-curricular program designed to support pre-K students in the areas of language acquisition, literacy, writing, phonological awareness, vocabulary, math, science, social studies, fine and gross motor skills, as well as social and emotional development skills.

"The introduction of LEAP Into School! represents the increased focus on high-quality learning during the crucial phase of birth to age 5, and recognition of the link between early education and students' long term success," stated Lynda McKelvey, School Specialty's Vice President of Instructional Solutions. "Strengthening early childhood experiences requires the right resources and tools, which is why School Specialty has been dedicated to serving teachers, child care providers, parents and children with the best in educational solutions. We're enthusiastic about bringing to market the new LEAP Into School! offering, which is uniquely designed to engage and enhance young minds. I'm confident that users will benefit tremendously."

Building on its predecessor, LEAP Into School! is grounded in the latest early childhood research and aligned with state preschool guidelines, offering a comprehensive program that includes the critical learning areas that are prerequisites for the Common Core Standards for kindergarten and first grade. Through School Specialty, this research-based and classroom-tested resource is expected to be available for use by preschools, Head Start facilities and community centers across the U.S. in early 2015.

An Innovative Program Developed Uniquely for Young Learners

LEAP Into School! comprises a two-volume, ten-module curriculum and series of learning kits created especially for early learners (3-5 year olds) as well as English Language Learners. Thematic modules include:

  • Welcome to School (Sept)
  • All About Me (Oct)
  • Fall (Nov)
  • Community Helpers (Dec)
  • Celebrating New Beginnings (January)
  • Winter (Feb)
  • Let's Talk! (March)
  • Spring (April)
  • Animals (May)
  • Let's Get Moving! (June)

Each module has one month (or four weeks) of lessons, with both weekly and daily lesson features. All modules include a module opener that includes the "Big Ideas" and other skills covered during the month.

Among the program's primary features developed to empower teachers and students are:

  • LEAP Into School! Teachers' Instructional Guide with comprehensive lessons, weekly planners and assessment checklist that accommodate all teachers in small/whole group learning centers.
  • LEAP Into School! Learning at Home Book which gives parents and caregivers the chance to participate in a child's learning, helping to reinforce skills and concepts taught in school.
  • LEAP Into School! Learning Cards that highlight letters, numbers, shapes and sizes, rhyming words, same/different matching, and picture words.
  • LEAP Into School! Learning Posters that show words and pictures to help children learn important/age appropriate vocabulary.
  • LEAP Into School! LEAP Hands-On Learning Kit consisting of manipulatives, puppets, child-friendly tools, dramatic play props, and games used in lessons.
  • LEAP Into School! LEAP Literature Kit which includes a host of titles ranging from classics to new favorites that are used in daily read aloud lessons.
  • LEAP Into School! LEAP Letters and Numbers App enabling interactive instruction on basic number and letter writing. Avatars, pop-up images and audio tools engage diverse learning styles.

McKelvey continued, "We are very excited about this new and innovative LEAP Into School! offering being available under the School Specialty umbrella and look forward to collaborating more closely with the program's publisher Brattle Publishing Group (BPG) and Author Nell Carvel on further developments. At School Specialty our number one priority is to help educators ensure that every student – from an early age and at the very start of their learning experience – has the resources and tools they need to reach their full potential. LEAP Into School! is an important resource which will help us to fulfill that mission, and we eagerly look ahead to our users being able to take advantage of its benefits by early 2015."

Attendees at this year's NAEYC Conference will be able to view mini-presentations of the LEAP Into School! offering at the School Specialty-Early Childhood booth (#1204) in the exhibition hall. The School Specialty team looks forward to speaking further with educators on key issues impacting pre-K classrooms nationwide, as well as sharing more insights on the innovative solutions available to support the advancement of young learners.

The NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo brings together thought leaders, classroom teachers and faculty, administrators, researchers, and other critically important practitioners and contributors in early childhood education. Whether you are a newcomer to the field or an experienced professional, the Conference provides the opportunity to help advance shared work on behalf of children during their most critical period of development and learning! For more information on NAEYC and the 2014 Conference, please visit www.naeyc.org.

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. For more information about School Specialty, visit www.schoolspecialty.com.

CONTACT: Company Contacts Lynda McKelvey / Matt Christiansen lynda.mckelvey@schoolspecialty.com matt.christiansen@schoolspecialty.com Tel: 920-672-9808 / 920-809-5240 Media Contacts Glenn Wiener / Dionne Manchester gwiener@GWCco.com dionne@GWCco.com Tel: 212-786-6011 / 212-786-6068

Source:School Specialty, Inc.