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Press Release

August 29, 2013

Contact: Sarah Busch
[email protected]
952-838-9000, National toll-free 888-248-0822
Contact: Jonathan Flom
[email protected]
(203) 761-6600

PACER and Holiday Hill Enterprises re-launch Spookley-themed educator toolkit and kickoff T-shirt fundraising campaign in preparation for National Bullying Prevention Month

AUG 29, 2013 – Minneapolis, MN

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and Holiday Hill Enterprises, the creators of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, are preparing for National Bullying Prevention Month in October with two announcements today: the re-launch of their Spookley-themed “STOP BULLYING BEFORE IT STARTS” free educator toolkit and the kickoff of a Spookley “DARE TO BE SQUARE” t-shirt fundraising campaign.  Both initiatives are produced through a collaborative partnership between the PACER Center and Holiday Hill Enterprises, with Spookley retuning for the third consecutive year as PACER’s official “Spokes Pumpkin” for National Bullying Prevention Month in October.

Spookley is a square pumpkin in a round pumpkin patch world, and his story was first introduced to millions of children through Joe Troiano’s book, The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin.  The “Stop Bullying Before it Starts” Free Digital Teacher Toolkit provides educators with Spookley-themed resources to promote kindness, tolerance, and bullying prevention in their classrooms.  Specific resources include discussion guides and learning activities that complement a reading of The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, as well as a Spookley classroom play written especially for the program by Troiano.  The toolkit also provides educators with free online access to an audio-visual recording of the book performed by Bobby “Boris” Pickett, writer and performer of the hit song, “The Monster Mash,” and to a streaming version of the “Spookley the Square Pumpkin” movie.  PACER is hosting the toolkit online and educators can register for free access at     

"The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin deals with advanced concepts of tolerance, diversity and acceptance in ways that are easily understood by early learners," said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center.   "There is a pressing need for bullying prevention teaching tools targeted specifically to early learners," Hertzog continued, “and we are delighted to offer the expanded Spookley resources this year to help stop bullying before it starts.”  New additions to the toolkit include directions for staging the Spookley classroom play in a way that reinforces the play’s bullying-prevention messaging and instructions for creating a “Spookley storybook trail” through the school that engages multiple classrooms and age groups in the learning experience.

In addition to re-launching the toolkit today, PACER and Holiday Hill Enterprises are kicking off their “DARE TO BE SQUARE” t-shirt campaign (  The campaign will run from today through October 11th and purchased shirts will be delivered approximately two weeks after the campaign closes.  100% of profits from t-shirt sales will be donated to PACER.

About PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center: Founded in 2006, PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center serves all children, including those with disabilities by uniting, engaging, and educating communities nationwide to address bullying through creative, relevant, and interactive resources. In 2006, PACER also established October as National Bullying Prevention Month and, in 2011, named Spookley its official "Spokes Pumpkin." For more information, visit or call 952-838-9000.  Based in Minnesota, PACER Center is a national parent center serving all youth, with a special emphasis on children with disabilities.

About Spookley the Square Pumpkin and Holiday Hill Farm:  Created and written by Joe Troiano, The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin is an illustrated storybook that has become a perennial best-seller and fall season favorite among children, teachers and parents.  The Spookley story is now also available as an app for the iPad/iPhone, Android and Nook platforms.  The animated classic, "Spookley the Square Pumpkin," will air once again this October on television in the US and abroad.  Spookley is a featured attraction at a growing network of pumpkin patches and “agritourism” destinations across North America.  Spookley lives on Holiday Hill Farm, a world where stories teach life lessons and which is the setting for Joe Troiano's other storybook classics Mistletoe and the Christmas Kittens, Lyla the Lovesick Ladybug, JellyBean the Unbreakable Egg and Beacon the Bright Little Firefly.

Contact: Jonathan Flom, (203) 761-6600, [email protected]