School Specialty Inc.: Takes new LEAP into school with enhanced early childhood learning solution

Company to preview latest language enrichment activities for
preschool at the 2014 NAEYC Conference & Expo

GREENVILLE, Wis., Nov. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — School Specialty,
Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) (“School Specialty”, “the Company”, or
“@SchoolSpecialty”), a leading distributor of innovative and
proprietary products, programs and services to the education
marketplace, today announced that the latest edition of the Language
Enrichment Activities for Preschool (LEAP) will soon be available as
part of the Company’s Early Childhood product offering. Making its
debut at the National Association for the Education of Young Children
(NAEYC) Conference & Expo to be held November 5-8, 2014 in Dallas, TX,
the new LEAP Into School! solution is an inclusive, multi-curricular
program designed to support pre-K students in the areas of language
acquisition, literacy, writing, phonological awareness, vocabulary,
math, science, social studies, fine and gross motor skills, as well as
social and emotional development skills.

“The introduction of LEAP Into School! represents the increased focus
on high-quality learning during the crucial phase of birth to age 5,
and recognition of the link between early education and students’ long
term success,” stated Lynda McKelvey, School Specialty’s Vice President
of Instructional Solutions. “Strengthening early childhood experiences
requires the right resources and tools, which is why School Specialty
has been dedicated to serving teachers, child care providers, parents
and children with the best in educational solutions. We’re enthusiastic
about bringing to market the new LEAP Into School! offering, which is
uniquely designed to engage and enhance young minds. I’m confident that
users will benefit tremendously.”

Building on its predecessor, LEAP Into School! is grounded in the
latest early childhood research and aligned with state preschool
guidelines, offering a comprehensive program that includes the critical
learning areas that are prerequisites for the Common Core Standards for
kindergarten and first grade. Through School Specialty, this
research-based and classroom-tested resource is expected to be
available for use by preschools, Head Start facilities and community
centers across the U.S. in early 2015.

An Innovative Program Developed Uniquely for Young Learners

LEAP Into School! comprises a two-volume, ten-module curriculum and
series of learning kits created especially for early learners (3-5 year
olds) as well as English Language Learners. Thematic modules include:

— Welcome to School (Sept)

— All About Me (Oct)

— Fall (Nov)

— Community Helpers (Dec)

— Celebrating New Beginnings (January)

— Winter (Feb)

— Let’s Talk! (March)

— Spring (April)

— Animals (May)

— Let’s Get Moving! (June)

Each module has one month (or four weeks) of lessons, with both weekly
and daily lesson features. All modules include a module opener that
includes the “Big Ideas” and other skills covered during the month.

Among the program’s primary features developed to empower teachers and
students are:

— LEAP Into School! Teachers’ Instructional Guide with comprehensive
lessons, weekly planners and assessment checklist that accommodate all
teachers in small/whole group learning centers.

— LEAP Into School! Learning at Home Book which gives parents and
caregivers the chance to participate in a child’s learning, helping to
reinforce skills and concepts taught in school.

— LEAP Into School! Learning Cards that highlight letters, numbers, shapes
and sizes, rhyming words, same/different matching, and picture words.

— LEAP Into School! Learning Posters that show words and pictures to help
children learn important/age appropriate vocabulary.

— LEAP Into School! LEAP Hands-On Learning Kit consisting of manipulatives,
puppets, child-friendly tools, dramatic play props, and games used in

— LEAP Into School! LEAP Literature Kit which includes a host of titles
ranging from classics to new favorites that are used in daily read aloud

— LEAP Into School! LEAP Letters and Numbers App enabling interactive
instruction on basic number and letter writing. Avatars, pop-up images
and audio tools engage diverse learning styles.

McKelvey continued, “We are very excited about this new and innovative
LEAP Into School! offering being available under the School Specialty
umbrella and look forward to collaborating more closely with the
program’s publisher Brattle Publishing Group (BPG) and Author Nell
Carvel on further developments. At School Specialty our number one
priority is to help educators ensure that every student – from an early
age and at the very start of their learning experience – has the
resources and tools they need to reach their full potential. LEAP Into
School! is an important resource which will help us to fulfill that
mission, and we eagerly look ahead to our users being able to take
advantage of its benefits by early 2015.”

Attendees at this year’s NAEYC Conference will be able to view
mini-presentations of the LEAP Into School! offering at the School
Specialty-Early Childhood booth (#1204) in the exhibition hall. The
School Specialty team looks forward to speaking further with educators
on key issues impacting pre-K classrooms nationwide, as well as sharing
more insights on the innovative solutions available to support the
advancement of young learners.

The NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo brings together thought leaders,
classroom teachers and faculty, administrators, researchers, and other
critically important practitioners and contributors in early childhood
education. Whether you are a newcomer to the field or an experienced
professional, the Conference provides the opportunity to help advance
shared work on behalf of children during their most critical period of
development and learning! For more information on NAEYC and the 2014
Conference, please visit

About School Specialty, Inc.

School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary
products, programs and services to the education marketplace. The
Company designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and
very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and
supplemental learning resources. Working in collaboration with
educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to
help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure
that every student reaches his or her full potential. For more
information about School Specialty, visit

CONTACT: Company Contacts
Lynda McKelvey / Matt Christiansen
[email protected]
[email protected]
Tel: 920-672-9808 / 920-809-5240

Media Contacts
Glenn Wiener / Dionne Manchester
[email protected]
[email protected]
Tel: 212-786-6011 / 212-786-6068