Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, and U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter series, today announced that all 80 public schools in Orleans Parish will take part in the New Orleans stop of the “J.K. Rowling Open Book Tour
”. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin welcomed Scholastic to New Orleans, and Dr. Ernest B. Fleishman, Senior Vice President, Education for Scholastic, made the announcement as Recovery School District Superintendent Paul Vallas and New Orleans Public Schools Superintendent Darryl Kilbert accepted “Sorting Hats” on behalf of the schools to help each school select the 1,600 lucky third through twelfth graders who will attend the special event on October 18. The students they choose will join Ms. Rowling at the Ernest N. Morial Auditorium at the Convention Center as she reads from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, answers questions about the entire series, and signs a book for every student!
“As the people of New Orleans continue to rebuild, Scholastic remains committed to the city’s youngest citizens by promoting literacy and learning through schools, libraries and now the J.K. Rowling Open Book Tour,” said Dr. Fleishman. “This is a chance for Ms. Rowling to do what she loves most and spend time with some very important people — the kids who love Harry Potter.”
Scholastic announced that the Company is donating 10,000 copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
, the first book in J.K. Rowling’s series, to Orleans Parish public schools for students who have not yet read the books and are now ready to begin their Hogwarts journey. In addition, Scholastic will donate a complete set of the Harry Potter series, books 1-7, to every public school in Orleans Parish and public library in New Orleans.
“As we continue to accelerate our recovery, our children must be at the forefront of our efforts,” said Mayor Nagin. “This program communicates to them that they are important to us and that we want to ensure that they have a high quality of life. By focusing on New Orleans, Ms. Rowling and Scholastic demonstrate their commitment to our youth and our rebuilding.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity to accomplish two things for the children of New Orleans,” added State Superintendent Paul Pastorek. “They will see firsthand that one of the most famous authors in the world understands and has come all the way from England to try and help alleviate some of the suffering they are still experiencing in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It is my hope that this visit, and the generous donation of books, will spark a love of reading that our students must have in order to be successful throughout their academic careers.”
J.K. Rowling will appear in two other events for schoolchildren: in Los Angeles at the Kodak Theater on Monday, October 15th and in New York City at Carnegie Hall on Friday, October 19th. (There are no public tickets available for these school events.) Rowling will return to Carnegie Hall for the final event on the evening of October 19th. One thousand lucky fans are being selected from sweepstakes entries to receive a pair of tickets to the J.K. Rowling event at Carnegie Hall on Friday, October 19 at 7 p.m. (Please note: the sweepstakes closed August 31, 2007). Scholastic announced the participating schools in New York City on September 5th. Participating schools in Los Angeles were announced on September 10th.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
, released on July 21, 2007, had an unprecedented first printing of 12 million copies, followed by another record-breaker: 8.3 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
were sold in the first 24 hours. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
, J.K. Rowling’s sixth Harry Potter book, was released on July 16, 2005, with a first printing of 10.8 million copies. At the time, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
was the fastest-selling book in history, selling 6.9 million copies in the first 24 hours. All six Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
have been number one bestsellers in the United States, the U.K., and around the world. The American editions of the Harry Potter books are published under Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine imprint.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries and television networks; and the Company's Internet site, www.scholastic.com