Today, Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, in collaboration with the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS), a coalition of 75 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems, has announced the School District of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA as the inaugural winner of the Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award. Named in honor of the late Scholastic Chairman and CEO, Richard (Dick) Robinson, this annual award recognizes a CGCS member school district for demonstrated progress in advancing reading achievement.
“During his near five decades leading Scholastic, Dick Robinson was a true champion of children’s literacy and education,” said Rose Else-Mitchell, President, Scholastic Education Solutions. “He believed that the core to the work we do is reaching the hearts of children to help them discover the stories, people, and worlds that can spark confidence and curiosity, while giving them the skills and tools necessary to navigate the 21st century. We’re honored to introduce this new award in partnership with the Council of the Great City Schools to recognize Dick’s lasting legacy, and to expand opportunities for students through access to high-quality, engaging print and digital resources.”
According to findings from the Scholastic Teacher & Principal School Report, educators overwhelmingly agree (99%) that reading books for fun supports students’ academic success. As the Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award-winner, the School District of Philadelphia has selected its own General George G. Meade School to receive the grand prize, which is designed to help increase book access and create a lasting culture of literacy. The school will receive:
  • A school library “renovation,” which includes a donation of over 6,000 high-quality, age-appropriate books, short reads for Guided Reading, and instructional resources from Scholastic Education Solutions.
  • A one-year site license to Scholastic Literacy Pro®, an award-winning blended learning program that provides 24/7 access to more than 2,500 fiction and nonfiction ebooks for purposeful independent reading, allowing personalized student choice while providing teachers with real-time data to inform instruction.
  • Lastly, elementary students will receive books to take home and add to their home libraries, encouraging independent reading beyond the classroom.
“The Council is extremely grateful to Scholastic for creating the Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award that will directly benefit an urban school,” said Council Executive Director Ray Hart. “Richard had a long and influential history with the Council and we can think of no better way to honor his contributions and his legacy than with this award that will help advance the reading achievement for our urban students. Literacy is so important to a child’s future and we are thrilled to be part of something which will give many future generations of bright, able, and deserving young people the skills to succeed in school and in life.”
“We are honored to have General George G. Meade School selected as the first Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award from Scholastic and the Council for the Great City Schools,” said William R. Hite, Jr. Ed.D., Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. “This generous support will help instill a love of reading in our students by increasing access to books, something that we know has a longstanding impact on helping students succeed.”