Monday, April 19, 2010

Save the Children and Scholastic Establish 'Education Recovery Fund' to Benefit Haiti over the Long Term


Haitian children at temporary school in Haiti. Photo credit: Rebecca Janes

Haitian children at a temporary school in Martissant, Haiti. Photo credit: Rebecca Janes.

WESTPORT, Conn. (April 19, 2010) — Save the Children has teamed up with Scholastic to establish a long-term education recovery fund that will benefit the children of Haiti.

The Scholastic Education Recovery Fund was seeded by a $50,000 contribution from Scholastic following the earthquake and will receive an additional $50,000 contribution from Scholastic in connection with this month's publication of a new paperback edition of Hope Is An Open Heart by Lauren Thompson. The book pays tribute to children's resilience and ability to consider the brighter aspects of life — to be hopeful — even in the most difficult situations.

"Scholastic supports organizations that share our mission to provide hope and help on a long-term basis to children and families after natural disasters," says Karen Proctor, vice president of Community Affairs and Government Relations at Scholastic.

"Through the Education Recovery Fund we can support the rebuilding of Haiti by investing in the children — recognizing that by providing them with educational resources, we are encouraging them to keep learning, growing and preparing for their futures as the next leaders of their country."

"We truly appreciate Scholastic's contribution and commitment to helping the children of Haiti get an education through their newly established Scholastic Education Recovery Fund," said Chloe O'Gara, Save the Children's director for Education and Child Development. "More than three months after the Haiti quake, the country still faces tremendous challenges in getting children into school, some for the first time. But, they are not insurmountable."

The Haitian Ministry of Education estimates that 90 percent of schools in the affected areas have been damaged or destroyed following the January earthquake, that over 400,000 children have been displaced, and that only 50 percent of students have returned to schools. In addition, many teachers and administrators in the Ministry of Education were killed or injured in the quake or were displaced from their homes.

O'Gara added, "The education recovery fund will help us reach more Haitian children through our education programs, getting them back into school and a routine among friends, where they can begin to recover from this crisis, and setting them on a path of learning that will benefit them for years to come."

About Scholastic and Hope Is An Open Heart

Hope Is An Open Heart, an inspirational children's picture book, was originally published by Scholastic Press in the wake of the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes to provide encouragement and inspiration for all children dealing with challenging situations. The new, revised version, available through all of Scholastic's distribution channels to schools and at bookstores nationwide in April 2010, features new photographs and text about the January earthquake that ravaged Haiti.

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Haiti's children