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Scholastic Classroom Magazines and National Institute on Drug Abuse Announce Science Education Partnership Launching This Fall


For Release September 27, 2002

National School-Based Information Campaign Will Feature Unique Look to Capture and Keep Teens' Attention, Latest Factoids on Science of Addiction, and Interviews with Teens in Recovery

Magazine Project to Reach More Than 8.5 Million Teens and Teachers

New York, NY and Washington, DC (September 19, 2002) Scholastic, the global children's publishing and media company, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) today announced a two-year, school-based science education partnership designed to inform students ages 12 to 15 about the dangers of drug abuse. In October, Scholastic Classroom Magazines will launch Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body, a series of special articles and inserts running throughout the school year that will feature the latest scientific information about the effects of drugs on a teen's brain, body, and life, written in appropriate language for this age group, as well as real life accounts of teens in recovery. Heads Up will have a unique, edgy look designed to capture and keep teens' attention on the campaign's messages, featuring original art by renowned collage artist Stephen Kroninger, whose work has been the subject of exhibits at New York City's Museum of Modern Art and at numerous galleries. Heads Up will reach more than 8.5 million students and their teachers.

According to NIDA's 2001 Monitoring the Future Survey, 11.7 percent of 8th graders had used an illicit drug in the past month, while 22.7 percent of 10th graders and 25.7 percent of 12th graders had done so.

"While science is often thought of as a challenging topic, our goal in working with Scholastic on the Heads Up program is to reach young people where they spend most of their day--in the classroom--and give them accurate, science-based information about drugs and their health effects in a format that is credible and designed specifically for them," said Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S., NIDA's acting director.

Junior Scholastic, Science World, Scholastic Scope, Scholastic Choices, Scholastic Action, Scholastic Math, and Scholastic News, magazines serving middle and high school classrooms, as well as Scholastic's news web site at www.scholastic.com/headsup, will run Heads Up. Each installment in the series will provide science-based information on how common drugs of abuse - such as marijuana, nicotine, ecstasy, inhalants, heroin, hallucinogens, steroids, methamphetamine, and cocaine - affect the brain and body, from damaged brain cells to tar-covered lungs and muscle spasms, and will tell the stories of teens grappling with addiction and recovery.

Teacher's Editions for each magazine will offer lesson plans, extension activities, and additional resources. In November, all classrooms will receive a poster illustrated by Stephen Kroninger that gives a tour of a body affected by various drugs of abuse.

"Scholastic is pleased to partner with NIDA, which is at the leading edge of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction," said David Goddy, Publisher of Scholastic Classroom Magazines. "Together we're able to take a unique approach to health and science education, reaching teens in their classrooms with the voices of their peers and the very latest scientific facts about drugs and addiction, in a context they'll respond to and understand. Our goal is to speak to students with respect, and give them the information they need to make smart choices about their bodies and their lives."

Scholastic is also sponsoring a Heads Up Poster Contest inviting students to design a science-inspired poster sending the message that drugs of abuse are bad for the brain and body. The Grand Prize winner will see his poster brought to life by a professional illustrator, and receive a trip for two to New York City and a $500 U.S. Savings Bond.

NIDA, as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health, has been the world's largest research organization on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction for more than 28 years. The Institute carries out a broad range of programs to ensure comprehensive research as well as quick distribution of research findings to policy makers and educational, prevention, and treatment programs. Since its inception, NIDA also has funded the national Monitoring the Future Survey, conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, tracking drug use trends among high school students. In the areas of science education and information, NIDA has pioneered innovative presentations of neuroscience information targeted to middle, high, and also grade schoolers. More information about NIDA can be found line at www.drugabuse.gov.

Scholastic is the world's largest publisher of educational magazines for grades pre-k through 12. Teachers rely on Scholastic classroom magazines to enhance instruction in subjects including reading and language arts, math, science, social studies, current events, geography, world languages, and art. Scholastic News, grade-by-grade classroom magazines for grades 1-6, gives kids their own thought-provoking, interactive news weekly through which they can understand current events and relate them to their world. Junior Scholastic is a bimonthly current events magazine for grades 6-8. ScholasticNews.com, the magazines' online companion, gives teachers, students and parents an additional resource with which to learn about and discuss current events in the classroom and at home. ScholasticNews.com's special reports, which offer expanded, in-depth coverage of important topics in the news such as 9/11, the Middle East Crisis, and school violence, have received high praise from teachers for sensitive, age-appropriate coverage of major breaking news.

About Scholastic

Scholastic Corporation (NMS: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, textbooks, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries, and television networks; and the Company's Internet Site, www.scholastic.com.

Contact:
Andrea Reibel
Scholastic
212-343-4563
areibel@scholastic.com

Judy Corman
Scholastic
212-343-6833
jcorman@scholastic.com

Beverly Jackson or
Sheryl Massaro
NIDA
301-443-1124


NOTE-TO-REPORTERS from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

An innovative drug education program, Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body, is a collaborative project of The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), one of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and SCHOLASTIC, a leading, global provider of educational materials for children and teachers. Our joint mission is to bring science-based "real news" about the effects drugs can have on a user's brain, body and, ultimately, life, directly to millions of U.S. school children in their classrooms.

This 2-year drug education program includes a series of close-ups on some common drugs of abuse, covered in five SCHOLASTIC magazines for middle and early high school students. Teens in recovery talk about how drugs affected their bodies and lives, while related findings from nearly 30 years of NIDA's scientific research on the health effects of drugs are explained in plain language and brought to life graphically. The series of close-ups will be featured in monthly magazines throughout the school year, beginning in October 2002. In addition, a "body parts" poster showing the effects of drugs on a variety of organs, will be distributed in November.

NIDA has focused on middle school students because they are in the age ranges most vulnerable to drug experimentation. Now, however, NIDA has a full range of drug education materials for all grades, K-12. Heads Up is, in fact, our second collaboration with SCHOLASTIC. In 1996, we partnered to bring drug education materials to grades 3 to 5 through the Don't Harm Yourself, Arm Yourself [with drug information] campaign. Our own groundbreaking Mind Over Matter (M.O.M.) campaign for middle school children was the first to bring young people inside a brain-graphically-to see the effects from each drug of abuse. Our high school curriculum, The Brain: Understanding Neurobiology through the Study of Addiction, in collaboration with the National Institute's of Health Office of Science Education, is an innovative neuroscience education tool that also informs high schoolers of the effects of drugs on the brain. In addition, we have just produced Brain Power! NIDA Junior Scientists, engaging drug education materials for grades 2 to 3. These include a student trading cards, a giant wall poster, a video, and teacher's and parent's guides, and are designed to interest and educate young children about their brain, why they should protect it, and how drugs can harm it.

Please visit the NIDA website for information on this new SCHOLASTIC partnership project, and to access additional products and information. Information for students is at http://www.drugabuse.gov/students-young-adults. Material specifically for parents and teachers is at www.drugabuse.gov/Parent-Teacher.html

For more information, or to interview NIDA Acting Director Dr. Glen Hanson on this initiative, please call NIDA at 301-443-6245.

--Beverly Jackson, Chief, NIDA Public Information & Liaison Branch




For more information about any item in this Release:

  • Michele Muth Person:
    301-443-6245


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