SKOKIE, Ill., March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Focused on the best of America, Rand McNally has launched a short essay contest to discover what places across the country inspire young people. Students who enter the contest have the opportunity to win a $10,000 college scholarship and earn a trip to Washington, D.C.
Barnes & Noble is one of the primary sponsors of the contest. Student winners from each state will win an award-winning Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet and have their essays published in an "America the Beautiful" eBook available exclusively on NOOK.com. In addition, the first 1,000 teachers who register will receive a Barnes & Noble gift card.
"America the Beautiful" asks this simple question of kids: What's the one place in the U.S. that truly inspires you? Maybe it's captured in the hometown they love, or the special memories about a place they visited, or even a landmark that is meaningful to them.
"Rand McNally has been selling educational products to schools for more than a century. We have seen social studies de-prioritized in classrooms in recent years due to budget constraints, while technology has made the world smaller and geographic awareness a more critical skill for the 21st century," explained Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally. "By encouraging kids to write about a 'place,' our goal with this program is to weave social studies content back into core curriculum, as well as to get kids feeling good about their country. With this goal in mind, the 'America the Beautiful' contest is the first of many digital programs we have planned for 2012."
For the past year, through their Best of the Road® initiative, Rand McNally and USA TODAY have been working together to find the best of America – the best small towns, most patriotic places, friendliest folks. Since both companies also have spent decades committed to the Education sector, it was natural to next reach out to classrooms to find out what young people find inspiring about America.
"The country has been going through a difficult period during the past several years," said David L. Hunke, President and Publisher of USA TODAY, "and we at USA TODAY want to spur optimism in the country about the country. We are looking for young people to share their stories and hopefully inspire all of us to appreciate what is great about our nation and the communities we live in."
"America the Beautiful" is open to 7th through 12th graders and its details can be found on a dedicated micro site at bestoftheroad.com/education. In addition to contest guidelines, the site also features lesson plans for educators, activity guides to assist student writers, and correlations to the Common Core State Standards.
Teachers whose classrooms participate in the program have the opportunity to win $5,000 worth of products for their schools.
"Barnes & Noble is committed to teachers and providing them with the tools they need to be successful in the classroom," said Jim Hilt, Vice President of eBooks for Barnes & Noble. "We are very supportive of the mission of 'America the Beautiful' and are excited to be the 'Official Tablet' of this program. We can't wait to publish the 'America the Beautiful' NOOK Book™ at the end of the contest with all of the students' stories."
More detailed information and complete contest rules are available at bestoftheroad.com/education.
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) WHO ARE STUDENTS 13 – 20 YEARS OF AGE ENROLLED IN GRADES 7-12 OR A TEACHER OF GRADES 7-12 AND 21 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Enter Contest by 5/14/12. For Official Rules and prize descriptions, visit www.bestoftheroad.com/education. Sponsor: RM Acquisition, LLC d/b/a Rand McNally, 9855 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077.
About Rand McNally – Rand McNally is the most trusted source for maps, directions, and travel content. Rand McNally's products and services include: Road travel review site bestoftheroad.com; Interactive travel referral service, tripology.com; America's #1 Road Atlas; and TripMaker® RVND™ GPS for RVers; IntelliRoute® truck routing software and navigation devices; TruckPC and the TND™ 760 Fleet Edition mobile communication solutions for the transportation industry; and the leading geography-based educational resources for the classroom. Consumers, businesses, truckers, and educators depend upon Rand McNally to help navigate today's world. randmcnally.com
Rand McNally, IntelliRoute, and Best of the Road are registered trademarks and RVND and TND are trademarks of RM Acquisition, LLC d/b/a Rand McNally. All other trademarks are registered to their respective owners.
About USA TODAY – USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY's mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Today, through its newspaper, website and mobile platforms, USA TODAY connects readers and engages the national conversation. USA TODAY, the nation's number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of nearly 1.8 million daily, and USATODAY.com, an award-winning newspaper website launched in 1995, reach a combined 5.4 million readers daily. USA TODAY is a leader in mobile applications with more than ten million downloads on mobile devices. The USA TODAY brand also includes USA TODAY Education and USA TODAY Sports Weekly. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).
About Barnes & Noble, Inc. – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), the world's largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 691 bookstores in 50 states. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, also operates 641 college bookstores serving over 4.6 million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through BN.com (www.bn.com), one of the Web's largest e-commerce sites, which also features more than two million titles in its NOOK Bookstore™ (www.bn.com/ebooks). Through Barnes & Noble's NOOK™ reading product offering, customers can buy and read digital books and content on the widest range of platforms, including NOOK devices, partner company products, and the most popular mobile and computing devices using free NOOK software. Barnes & Noble is proud to be named a J.D. Power and Associated 2012 Customer Service Champion and is only one of 50 U.S. companies so named.
SOURCE Rand McNally