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School Specialty’s Sax® Teams Up with Fresh Artists® to Support Art Education and Empower Young Lives

GREENVILLE, Wis., July 25, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sax®, the premier arts and crafts brand of School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) (“School Specialty”, “SSI” or “the Company”), is pleased to announce today its new partnership with the national award-winning non-profit, Fresh Artists®. With a shared passion for art education and inspiring student creativity, Sax in collaboration with Fresh Artists, will provide a wide assortment of art making supplies to support innovative programs for K-12 children in under-resourced public schools nationwide. Together, the goal is to change the lives of children and their communities by increasing access to quality art materials and tools.

Figure 1 - Student art mounted in corporate cafeteria.




A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a08489b9-52e9-4f0d-8b2f-749c3a8f3faf

Great Art Doing Good
Founded in Philadelphia in 2008, Fresh Artists empowers young people as artists and equally important, as philanthropists, by inviting their donation of selected digital images of their artwork to help other children in public schools struggling with slashes in arts funding. Students keep their original artwork and its copyright. Businesses make donations to Fresh Artists and then choose scaled-up high-resolution reproductions of students’ artwork for their facilities as thank-you gifts from the children. This corporate support enables Fresh Artists’ delivery of art supplies and innovative art programs to schools in need. It’s a unique circle of giving where children’s art fulfills a corporate need while raising funds for future art making. The children are empowered as change-makers in the world.

Fresh Artists’ programs for students and teachers include Pablo’s Clothesline Art Sale, Mini-Masterpieces, Chip Art, Artful All-Calls, Palates to Palettes, Design Camp, Cool Jobs Pop-Up Expo, Fresh Artists Greenhouse, Fresh Artists Sunday Salons, and Art Kit Grants. Since 2008, the organization estimates that the lives of more than 330,000 young people have been impacted and it has delivered the value of more than a half million dollars in goods and art programs to art classrooms, touching children in almost every state.

Fresh Artists’ Founder and President, Barbara Chandler Allen stated, “We are thrilled and extremely grateful for the opportunity to partner with School Specialty and Sax Arts & Crafts in supporting young students and teachers who are in great need of resources for art education in their schools. Sax’s generosity to Fresh Artists enables us to open a wide door of possibility to children across the country through its vast offering of high quality art making products to foster creativity inside as well as outside the classroom. With Sax’s strong support, we expect to make an even greater impact on hundreds of thousands of children and by extension, their communities across the U.S. Our Fresh Artists family looks forward to building this important collaboration with the Sax team to amplify our innovative model of “great art doing good” in the months and years to come!”

A Commitment to Celebrating Student Imagination and Creation
In addition to donating art supplies to schools in need, Sax has celebrated student art and student artists over the last decades by featuring selected pieces for its product catalogs. For the cover of its 2016 back-to-school catalog which will be distributed end of July 2016, Sax will showcase the colored pencil piece entitled, Underwater World, which was created by student artist Peyton Krueger when he was an eighth grader at New Richmond Middle School in Wisconsin and submitted by Peyton’s art teacher Allison Johnson.

See more of Fresh Artists here.

School Specialty’s Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer, Ed Carr commented, “With a history beginning more than a century ago (since 1910), Sax Arts & Crafts has prided itself on supporting classrooms, studios and homes with an unmatched assortment of the highest quality and most innovative products that help to cultivate creative minds. The brand continues to champion the importance of art education in schools, inspiring students and teachers to imagine big and push beyond limits in order to transform lives and build communities for the better. Our collaboration with Fresh Artists seemed only natural in extending this commitment by helping schools and neighborhoods in need through the power of art. We’re honored to be a partner and look forward to a bright future together.”

About Fresh Artists
Founded in 2008, Fresh Artists is a national award-winning nonprofit that empowers young lives through art by engaging vulnerable children as full partners in philanthropy, by widely exhibiting children’s artwork in highly visible and unexpected places, and by providing art supplies and innovative art programs to severely under-resourced public schools. Fresh Artists invites K-12 artists to donate high-resolution images of selected artwork, and then provides corporate or individual donors with thank-you gifts of high-quality digital reproductions of that art in exchange for financial contributions. The talent and generosity of 1700 public school children throughout the country has delivered the value of more than $700,000 in art supplies and innovative art programming to public schools in 40 states. Fresh Artists’ Print Studio produces the large-format images for public installation while introducing disadvantaged teens to marketable job skills in the digital printing industry. Cool Jobs, an annual pop-up expo, introduces young teens to real jobs they could have in the creative economy. Huge reproductions of children’s artwork have been installed in corporate facilities throughout the country from Washington, DC, to Oregon including SAP, Yahoo, Comcast, Independence Blue Cross, Harvard School of Education, Yale University Children’s Hospital, and the world-famous Philadelphia Flower Show. The children’s hopeful, inspirational art has been installed in 38 homeless and emergency shelters, soup kitchens and child abuse clinics. Fresh Artists launched an edition of 6 Fresh Artists Memory Games, educational, intergenerational games showcasing children’s art which received the Oppenheim Gold Award for Best Toys of the Year and were chosen by Oprah to be featured in “O” Magazine. For more information, visit www.freshartists.org.

About Sax
Since 1910, Sax has inspired the artist in every student with its comprehensive line of affordable, high-quality arts and craft supplies. From construction paper and colored pencils, to paint and canvas, School Specialty and Sax provide everything needed to spark creative learning. Developed by professional art educators and former art teachers, art educators and artists alike trust Sax to provide them with the most innovative art materials. Additionally, Sax’s Professional Art Consultants are available to host interactive art education workshops and education programs designed to meet in-service and professional development needs, as well as help with product selection and demonstration, providing lesson plan ideas and know-how, and more.

For more information on Sax, go to www www.schoolspecialty.com/sax. Follow on social media: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and on the Blog.

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. Through its SSI Guardian subsidiary, the Company is also committed to school, healthcare and corporate workplace safety by offering the highest quality curriculum, training and safety and security products. Finally, through its SOAR Life Products brand, the Company offers thousands of products that sharpen cognitive skills and build physical and mental strength in fun and creative ways. From childhood through adulthood, they help individuals live life to the fullest – engaged, happy and well. SOAR Life Products is a customized offering for hospitals, long-term care, therapeutic facilities, home care, surgery centers, day care centers, physician offices, and clinics. For more information about School Specialty, visit www.schoolspecialty.com.

@SchoolSpecialty
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Company Contact: Sheri Yerges Marketing Manager, Sax Tel: 920-882-5787 Email: sheri.yerges@schoolspecialty.com Media Contacts: Glenn Wiener and Dionne Manchester GW Communications (for School Specialty) Tel: 212-786-6011 / 212-786-6068 Email: gwiener@GWCco.com / dionne@GWCco.com

Source:School Specialty, Inc