Scholastic Announces Winners in First Annual WordGirl(TM) Definition Competition

Claude Hopkins of New York City Catapults to Stardom at Live Virtual Event Based on Emmy(R) Award-Winning PBS KIDS GO! Animated Series

May 12, 2010, 12:09 ET from Scholastic Media

NEW YORK, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic Inc., (Nasdaq: SCHL) the global children's publishing, education and media company, today announced the winner of the first annual WordGirl™ Definition Competition – a live virtual event that challenged students in a battle for word domination. Third grader Claude Hopkins of the British International School of New York from New York City deftly answered questions demonstrating proper word usage, reading comprehension and definitions to win the Grand Prize of 500 books for his school and a Scholastic Dictionary, Scholastic Thesaurus and WordGirl prize pack for each member of his class.  In addition, at the end of the event, Claude chose Michelle Vaughn's third grade class at Arundel Elementary / Middle School from Baltimore, Maryland at random from eligible participating online classrooms to receive the same prize in the WordGirl Definition Competition Webcast Sweepstakes.* Tens of thousands of students played along from schools across the country via a live webcast.

Second prizes were awarded to Ian Gopie of PS 135Q (The Bellaire School), Queens Village, NY; Lucy Henderson of the Middle Gate School, Newtown, CT and Destinee Mendoza of PS 198 (Isidor & Ida Straus School) of New York, NY.  They will each receive a Scholastic Dictionary, Scholastic Thesaurus and WordGirl prize pack for their classroom – as will two participating online classrooms – Wendy Rice's third grade class from the Lumberton Primary School in Lumberton, TX and Kelli Grewell's third grade class from the Nightengale Elementary School in Massena, NY – who were selected at random as Second prize winners in the WordGirl Definition Competition Webcast Sweepstakes.*

"With phenomenal participation from across the nation in the inaugural Definition Competition, we are proud that WordGirl demonstrated her ability to inform, inspire and entertain children and teachers," said Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Media and Executive Vice President of Scholastic Inc.

Inspired by the educational objectives of the series, which airs daily on PBS KIDS GO!, the WordGirl Definition Competition brought the character into the classroom as never before, engaging students with vocabulary words through an entertaining and interactive format. The event was played live as a game show hosted by WordGirl, along with Beau Handsome of the "May I Have a Word" segment from the series at Scholastic's New York City headquarters. In the past year alone, Scholastic has reached more than 6 million students and teachers through its live webcasts.

The WordGirl Definition Competition supports WordGirl's continued effort as a champion of literacy.  The character will serve as the national "Ambassador of Summer Reading" in conjunction with the Scholastic Summer Challenge, a collaboration of Scholastic and Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and the National Summer Learning Association. WordGirl has adopted summer reading as her cause to encourage kids to continue reading over the summer vacation because children who read over the summer fare better in school than their peers who don't read over summer. Reading more helps children learn new words, and learning new words helps children become better readers.  As part of her Ambassador role, WordGirl will appear in digital ads and in promotional videos about the importance of summer reading which will air online at and on Scholastic's You Tube Channel. WordGirl will also be making appearances throughout the summer at reading events with Governors' Spouses who are joining with Scholastic to promote summer reading in their states.

WordGirl airs five days a week on PBS KIDS GO! (check local listings) and has won numerous parenting and industry excellence awards since its debut, including a 2008 Emmy Award for "Best Writing in Animation," a Television Critics Award for "Outstanding Achievement in Children's Animation," a Gracie Award for its portrayal of a strong female character, a KidScreen Award for Best Voice Talent, and an iParenting Media Award.  It was nominated for a 2009 Emmy for Best Direction in an Animated Series. New episodes of the Emmy Award-winning animated series are also set to air in July.

For more information on WordGirl, please visit, and For official sweepstakes rules, visit

* Subject to eligibility verification

SOURCE Scholastic Media