Freebies for a Fun Fall

By mid-September, some teachers have been back to school for just a few days while others are already wrapping up the first grading period. Whether your school year has just begun or is well underway, this batch of freebies and contests is sure to add opportunities for fun and learning in your classroom!


As every teacher knows, a good principal can make all the difference in a school. The Principal Story, which will be broadcast on PBS on Tuesday, September 15, at 10:30 p.m. (check local listings), follows two principals at schools facing major challenges. Nash Elementary in Chicago and Harvard Park Elementary in Springfield, Illinois, both face low attendance rates, poor test scores, lack of funding, teacher turnover, poverty, and violence. Each principal takes a different approach to facing the problems and leading her school. To see a trailer or to learn more, visit

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Time is running out to enter the I Can Read! sweepstakes. One lucky teacher will win a library of 50 I Can Read! books, which feature well-known characters such as Biscuit, Fancy Nancy, Marley, and Amelia Bedelia. Plus the winner also receives a $100 gift certificate for products from The Mailbox! Sign up to receive reading articles and tips and enter to win. Visit The contest ends September 22, 2009.

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Mark your calendar for the Worldwide Day of Play on September 26, 2009. The entire day is dedicated to the celebration of healthy lifestyles and active play. To plan an event at your school or to find ideas to send home to parents, visit

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Here’s a refreshing way to support schools! Through the Limeades for Learning program, Sonic Drive-In will donate half a million dollars to fund projects by teachers nationwide. With each fountain drink or frozen drink purchase, customers will get a code that can be used to vote for a project featured at Visit the site to learn more or to submit a project of your own. Hurry–the program ends October 1, 2009.

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Children ages 4-13 are invited to enter the Mrs. P’s Be a Famous Writer Contest sponsored by, a free website that celebrates books and reading. Young writers submit stories of 250 to 1,000 words. Entries will be judged by professional writers, including Pulitzer Prize winner Dave Barry; CBS Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson; fantasy series writer and producer Andre Bormanis; and noted children’s author Diana Leszczynski, who wrote Fern Verdant and the Silver Rose. For details, visit The contest ends October 15, 2009.

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Showcase your favorite science activity and WIN a DVD library! Click here now to download a free poster featuring Sid the Science Kid. Contest details are on the back of the poster. Now’s your chance; winners will be selected each month through December!

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PS: Looking for fun and cost-effective field trips? The Field Trip Factory has FREE field trips in your area! Click here now to learn more!

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