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Press Release

September 6, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         
Contact: PACER Center 952-838-9000, 800-53-PACER

OCTOBER IS NATIONAL BULLYING PREVENTION MONTH: SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN NAMED THE OFFICIAL SPOKES-PUMPKIN

Spookley’s message of celebrating peoples’ differences to help raise awareness

September 6, 2011 – It was announced today that Spookley the Square Pumpkin has been named the Official Spokes-Pumpkin of National Bullying Prevention Month 2011 through a partnership with PACER Center. PACER, a national organization based in Minneapolis, Minn., works to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of all children and young adults, including those with any disability,  and their families based on the concept of parents helping parents.  “The culture of bullying won’t end until people across the country take action and show children and teens that they care,” says Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which sponsors the month.  “We love the way Spookley touches the heart and the mind with his message of tolerance and acceptance.”

Spookley the Square Pumpkin, written and createdby Joe Troiano, tells the story of a square pumpkin living in a round pumpkin patch on Holiday Hill Farm. Although Spookley initially faces ridicule from his fellow patch-mates, he goes on to save the day during a terrible storm. As a result, all the pumpkins in the patch learn that it is the thing that makes you different that makes you special.

“This book resonates with children, parents, teachers and librarians,” said Troiano.  “I’m thrilled to partner with PACER on this very important issue and lend Spookley’s positive message to this national platform.”
Spookley and PACER are teaming up on a number of events, messages and applications that will be announced later this month.

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center provides creative and interactive resources that are designed to benefit all students, including students with disabilities. Parents and educators can visit PACER.org/Bullying and elementary school students PACERKidsAgainstBullying.org for additional ideas on how they can take action against bullying.
“This is a very real and painful issue that kids are facing,” Hertzog says. “But they don’t have to face it alone, and bullying can be prevented if we all work together to change the culture.  Spookley will help us carry this message to children and adults during National Bullying Prevention Month.”

Over 1 million Spookley the Square Pumpkin books have been sold to date and it is a top selling Halloween title annually. The book will be featured at Barnes & Noble stores, online, and through Scholastic Book Clubs this Fall.  In addition to the book, Spookley’s story is available as an app for iTunes/iPad/iPhone and the Nook and The Spookley Movie can be seen on the Disney Channel. Spookley will be spreading his message of tolerance and acceptance throughout the United States and Canada starting in late September. 

For more information on this partnership, please contact Susan Martin, Matchbook Company, [email protected], 646.429.8905

About PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center offers educators, students, families, and individuals the tools they need to address bullying in schools, recreational programs or community organizations. For more information, visit PACER.org/bullying or call 952-838-9000.

About PACER Center: Based in Minneapolis, PACER Center is a national parent center serving all youth, with a special emphasisonchildren with disabilities. Learn more at PACER.org or call 952-838-9000; 888-248-0822 (national toll free).

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