Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bring Your Raceway to Life!

Hello! My name is Danielle Wolfe and I am a Buyer for Discount School Supply®. I select products for several categories including Dramatic Play, Blocks, Science, Math, Puzzles and Inspirational items. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is designing new products. With so many categories, inspiration can come from anywhere.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a son whom I home-schooled. Because of this, I am always looking at products with him in mind. I always wonder how he would use it or how he would play with it. This helps me to see products, not just as a designer, but through the eyes of the child.

When he was younger, one of my son’s favorite activities was playing with cars. He loved racing them across pretend roads on my kitchen floor. My goal was to create a toy that cultivated learning, yet retained this simple joy of racing cars. I wanted to create a racing product that would allow two children to play together, but would still be entertaining for one child, playing independently.

The result is RACEWAY, a two-sided wooden racing tower with six cars. With the two sides, kids can race cars down the angled drops. All the while, they’re tracking their progress while learning about angles, velocity and force. The tower is made of solid wood, which is my favorite material to work with. The six cars are also made of wood. Because of this, the cars make a satisfying “thunking” sound while racing for the finish line. I designed the cars to be a little thicker, as I wanted them to be easy to follow, even for younger children.

RACEWAY was as much fun to design as it is to play with. I hope that you have a chance to see it on our website and watch the accompanying video that really brings RACEWAY to life.

Monday, April 16, 2012

HighScope®/ Discount School Supply® Announce Exclusive Partnership


Contact: April Locke
Tel: 831.333.2549

HighScope® Educational Research Foundation & Excelligence® Learning Corporation Announce Long-Term Partnership in Early Education

Preeminent preschool curriculum creator HighScope Foundation partners with Excelligence Learning Corporation for new products, exclusive distribution.

YPSILANTI, Michigan and MONTEREY, California (April 3, 2012) – HighScope® Educational Research Foundation, best known for the historic HighScope® Perry Preschool Study—which tracked more than 100 children for 40 years and established that those who had a preschool experience had higher earnings, were more likely to hold a job and were more likely to have graduated from high school than adults who did not have preschool—is partnering with Excelligence® Learning Corporation dba Discount School Supply®. The organizations will work together in a partnership to develop innovative educational products to complement the HighScope® Preschool Curriculum, one of the top early childhood curricula currently in use in preschools around the world.

 HighScope’s® new partnership with Excelligence® has two areas of focus. First, HighScope’s® Research and Professional Development departments will work with Excelligence’s® Product Development team to create original products. These products will be available exclusively from HighScope® and Discount School Supply®. The second area of focus is Discount School Supply’s® exclusive role as distributor, along with HighScope® itself, of HighScope® curriculum products in the early childhood market.

Clay Shouse, HighScope® Vice President, comments, “Discount School Supply® has a long reputation for high quality products at reasonable prices. This partnership will provide a convenient way for programs to implement HighScope® and allow them to focus on their goal of high quality programs with positive child outcomes.” Mr. Shouse continues, “We know that with all the demands on preschool programs today, anything we can do to support our Curriculum will help teachers have more time to work with the children.”

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Water Cooler

Curling up with a good book is my favorite spare time activity, but once in a while I ‘uncurl’ to do a little channel surfing. Since works of historical fiction are rarely a topic with my peers, I like to be in “in the know” on shows from “American Idol” to the “X Factor” so I do not feel left out during break-time conversations. Even at an age where I should know better, I want to fit in around the water cooler!

The desire to fit in is part of us at any age, but of course it is felt most strongly by teenagers. Over the past couple of years I have participated at conferences and expos focused on children with special needs, and I continually heard from the therapists and special education teachers of teens with special needs that, while those teens benefit from the same type of help and support directed to younger children, it is vital to offer this help and support in a way that recognizes the maturing interests and expanding horizons of the teens placed in their care. At Achievement Products®, we took that message to heart.

We reviewed our catalog’s content with a number of therapists who helped us identify products ideally suited to support teens in the following areas:

Core Strength-products that stimulate a teen’s natural motivation to move, while strengthening limb coordination, balance, judgment, and visual perception skills.

Life Skills & Socialization-products that assist with management of everyday life skills.

Academics-adaptive products to support classroom performance.

Art & Creativity-items that encourage creative experiences for self-expression and collaborative socialization.

Self-Regulation-options to engage in self-regulating behavior in a socially accepted manner.

Teen Cave-options for teens to individualize their sensory environment, to provide a space uniquely theirs to relax in and un-wind.

And we have had a wonderful response, including items that can be found in the Special Needs section of our Discount School Supply® catalog: the active sitting Sit Disc (AP9620J and AP9621J); assorted Physiorolls® (AP2055J, AP2057J, AP2058J) and Gymnastikballs® (AP20710J, AP20711J, AP20712J, AP20713J, AP20714J, AP20716J); fidgets such as the Tangles (AP1290J, AP2900J and AP3300J); and Slant Boards (AP5368J and AP5368J).

We invite you to take a look at our entire teen collection in Achievement Products®, and we want to hear from you at this ‘Water Cooler’ that is our blog site! Please share what resources, services or products have helped the teens in your care to succeed as they grow, mature, and expand their horizons.