Highlights Magazine Celebrates 65th Anniversary, Presents First Smiling H Awards

Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:43am EDT

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Highlights Magazine Celebrates 65th Anniversary, Presents First Smiling H Awards

Actor Henry Winkler, FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair among honored contributors

PR Newswire

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- This June, Highlights magazine, which has delighted generations of children and their families with features like Hidden Pictures and Goofus and Gallant, celebrates 65 years of bringing children "Fun with a Purpose." The magazine is noting its anniversary by awarding its first Smiling H Awards to eight contributors who have forwarded the magazine's mission to help kids become their best selves -- curious, confident, creative and caring.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110622/CL24511)

"We are so glad to have had the chance to serve children and their families for the last 65 years," says Christine French Cully, editor-in-chief of Highlights magazine. "We are very grateful to the authors, illustrators and partners who have helped us deliver so much 'Fun with a Purpose' to our readers. This seemed like a wonderful opportunity to honor some of the extraordinary contributors we've had over the years."

The Smiling H Awards are given to individuals who demonstrate a devotion to the idea that "children are the world's most important people;" have a deep commitment to creative excellence that results in the highest quality product offerings for children; and have an ability to inspire children, through the example of his or her own life, to become "their best selves" – curious, confident, creative and caring. Following this inaugural year, the award will be given out annually in June on the anniversary of the magazine's first issue. The award's name comes from the iconic "H" letter in the magazine's title.

This year's Smiling H Award recipients are:

One of the most recognized actors in the world, Henry Winkler is known for portraying Arthur Fonzarelli, aka The Fonz, in the TV series, "Happy Days." He currently appears as Eddie R. Lawson on the USA Network Series, "Royal Pains." Winkler has had a second career as a children's author and an advocate for children. With his partner, Lin Oliver, he writes the children's novels Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever. The books were inspired by Henry's struggle throughout his education due to his learning challenges. "We selected Henry not only because his 2005 article 'Flashbacks' deepened our readers understanding of dyslexia," says Cully, "but also because we applaud high-profile people who are committed to sharing with children what they've learned about life. Henry's personal story has reached and inspired countless young people who face similar challenges."

Eileen Spinelli has published more than 50 books for children, including the best-selling When Mama Comes Home Tonight, and the critically acclaimed Sophie's Masterpiece. Spinelli has had more than 100 stories, poems and other items published in Highlights. "Eileen has been a mentor for many who want to write for children, through her work with the Highlights Foundation and in countless other ways," says Cully.

Author and illustrator Valeri Gorbachev has illustrated more than fifty children's books, including Nicky and the Big Bad Wolves and Where is the Apple Pie? His books have been translated into Spanish, German and Finnish. Gorbachev's anthropomorphic animals have graced the covers of many issues of Highlights and Highlights High Five, and set the scene for Hidden Pictures collections. "Valeri's gentle humor and fine art have reached many readers," says Cully. "He is one of the rare talents who can both write and illustrate."

Dr. George and Lory Frame have written more than 100 articles about wildlife for Highlights since their first was published in 1972. Their first-person observational pieces about their scientific work in the field were early examples of a powerful style of writing about science for children. "The Frames' articles didn't just give children information; they fostered an appreciation of wildlife and helped children understand that science is an ongoing, self-correcting process," says Cully.

Astronomer Dr. Ken Croswell has written eight books on astronomy, including Ten Worlds. For many years, he has served as Highlights' astronomy consultant. Through his 22 articles in Highlights over the years, Dr. Croswell has shared his passion for learning about space and our solar system. "Ken has ignited the imagination and curiosity of countless children," says Cully.

Sports writer and former teacher Marty Kaminsky has published 29 articles in Highlights since 1991, but it is not just the sheer volume of his contribution that has been special to the magazine. "Marty's careful selection of athletes to hold up as role models for kids has inspired millions of readers over the years to better understand what it means to be a team player, a good sport, and 'your best self,'" says Cully. Kaminsky founded a non-profit program called Golden Opportunity, which matches retired teachers with elementary school students for one-on-one tutoring. Kaminsky has demonstrated through his contributions to Highlights, his life in education and his mentoring program that he is truly an advocate for the world's most important people – children.

Mark Baldwin, the Director of Education at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, has served as a nature consultant with Highlights for more than 20 years. He has also worked with the Highlights Foundation, co-sponsoring a workshop for writers and illustrators interested in nature and science writing, illustration and photography. "Mark's mentorship of others in nature education, and his tireless fact-checking of Highlights' nature articles have contributed to children's curiosity and deep appreciation for the natural world," says Cully.  

Sheila Bair, Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), wrote a series of groundbreaking articles for Highlights on banks, compound interest and the stock market. "Sheila's articles brought needed attention to the importance of helping children develop financial literacy," says Cully. "Parents, teachers and financial-institution representatives wrote to thank us for these concise, articulate pieces."

"We could not do what we do for children without authors and illustrators," says Cully. "It is an honor to work with others so dedicated to children."

About Highlights for Children, Inc. (www.Highlights.com)

Devoted to "Fun with a Purpose," Highlights for Children, Inc. has helped children become their best selves for generations. Its flagship publication, Highlights magazine, the most recognizable and widely-read children's magazine in the nation, has printed more than a billion copies. Other Highlights offerings include a version for younger children, Highlights High Five, Highlights for Children Book Clubs and mobile applications like My First Hidden Pictures. Corporate offices are in Columbus, Ohio, and editorial offices are in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Fun with a Purpose, Goofus and Gallant and Hidden Pictures are registered trademarks of Highlights for Children, Inc.

The Highlights Foundation is a separate, public, not-for-profit 501©3 organization whose mission is to raise the level of the offering of writing and illustrating for children.

SOURCE Highlights for Children

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