Scholastic Ends Coal-Backed Effort In Schools

  • May 16, 2011
Educational publisher Scholastic says it will 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 bowed to protests from the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), Rethinking Schools, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace USA, and the Center for Biological Diversity.

"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," said CCFC in a statement. "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."

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, according to CCFC. "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," said the group.

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