February 18, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

News Bites: “YA for NJ” Auction for Sandy Relief

Hurricane Sandy benefit: From November 30 through December 7, autographed hardcover books and collections, school and Skype visits, dedications in future books, and other donations from 170 popular young adult and middle grade authors will be auctioned online at eBay.com to benefit the victims of hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. Author Kieran Scott, whose home state is New Jersey, partnered with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to organize this “YA for NJ” event, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to the FoodBank to help feed those devastated by the storm. These fabulous items have been donated by authors such as Sarah Dessen, Jerry Spinelli, David Levithan, Jacqueline Woodson, Libba Bray, and James Patterson. To get updates on the auction, like their Facebook page.

Literacy Campaign

Books for kids in need: Scholastic, The UPS Store, and Marine Toys for Tots are launching a holiday literacy drive that’s part of Scholastic’s literacy campaign, Read Every Day, Lead a Better Life. The aim of the campaign is to “help all children experience the love of reading and owning a book,” including those who lost books due to Hurricane Sandy that devastated the East Coast. There are a number of ways that families can help.

When you download Storia, Scholastic’s teacher-recommended children’s ereading app, you will receive five free ebooks. For every additional ebook you purchase on Storia through December 31, Scholastic will donate a children’s book to a child in need through Toys for Tots Literacy Program (they’ve committed to donating a minimum of 50,000 books).

You can also donate to the Toys for Tots Literacy Program by purchasing a donation card or donating online at The UPS Store Facebook page. Furthermore, the UPS Store that raises the most money during the holidays will get 500 books for families in their community.


Life changer: The chances are that you know a K–12 school district educator or employee who exemplifies excellence, positive influence, and leadership. Well, it’s time to nominate them for the Life Changer of the Year Award sponsored by National Life Group (National Life Insurance Co.). School employees and administrators can nominate full-time educators, teachers, principals, or any member of the school’s staff.

Winners will be selected on the basis of their ability to make a difference in the lives of students and their ability to positively add to the development of the school’s atmospheres. They must also be a leader in their activities at the school and/or district level, have a proven record of excellence at the professional level, and be committed to producing a nurturing atmosphere. Be sure to check out the official rules and complete the nomination form. Nominations can be made through January 25.

The grand prize winner will receive $5,000 with a matching award going to their school. The first runner-up will receive $3,500 with an equal amount awarded to their school. The second runner-up and their school will each get $2,500. There will also be seven LifeChanger awards—the employee and the school will each receive $1,500.

And the Winner Is…

Service to the community: Five libraries and five museums were presented with the 2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Service by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) at a ceremony at the White House on November 14. The Medal winners are selected from nominations of institutions nationwide that “demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach” and make a difference for individuals, families, and the communities. Anyone can nominate a library or museum for the National Medal, including the institutions employees, board members, community members, and elected officials.

This year’s honorees include Bootheel Youth Museum, Malden, MO; Contra Costa County Library, Pleasant Hill, CA; Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC; Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago, IL; Long Island Children’s Museum, Garden City, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, N. Miami, FL; Naturita Community Library, CO; Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA; Park View High School Library Media Center, Sterling, VA; and Shaler North Hills Library, Glenshaw, PA. Make sure to check out just how these institutions have reached out to the communities they serve. “By pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and embracing new ideas and approaches, these award winners have challenged the conventional notions of what a library or museum can and should be,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.

Industry News

Infobase Learning has acquired Learn 360, an interactive media-on-demand service from AIM Education. The Learn360 platform is a subscription service used by more than 25,00 schools that offers digital video titles, video clips, speeches, images, songs, research articles, and more from over 60 educational producers. Infobase provides digital reference content to schools and libraries under brands such as Facts On File, The World Almanac, Chelsea House, and Films Media Group. “This acquisition greatly expands our existing reach within the elementary, middle, and high school markets,” noted Mark McDonnell, president and CEO of Infobase Learning. “Learn360’s extensive multimedia assets and virtual classroom platform complement Infobase’s award-winning digital reference products.”

On the move: Maria Modugno joined Random House as editorial director, picture books for the Random House and Golden Books for Young Readers Group on November 26. Modugo’s career includes numerous positions at Little, Brown Children’s Books where she published such classics as I Love You Like Crazy Cakes (2000 by Rose Lewis and Jane Dyers and oversaw Marc Brown’s “Arthur” series. She also was editorial director of children’s books at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. She is leaving her position as vice president/editorial director at HarperCollins Children’s Books where she acquired and edited books such as Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious (2006) and Rob Scotton’s Splat the Cat (2008).

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Phyllis Levy Mandell About Phyllis Levy Mandell

Phyllis Mandell was Managing Editor/Multimedia Review Editor for SLJ.