Mimio Global Press


EXPO Classroom Makeover Contest Together with Scholastic and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Paige Hemmis Provide Gulf-Coast Classroom A Color-Infused Overhaul

OAK BROOK, IL - August 15, 2007 - Trent Lott Middle School in Pascagoula, Mississippi lost close to everything during Hurricane Katrina. The school was flooded with four feet of storm water, destroying nearly every book, piece of school equipment and important document. Two years later the school is still struggling to re-build from the devastation. Taking matters into her own hands, middle-school teacher Patti Ramer found a way to receive some much needed help.

Mrs. Ramer submitted an essay to the EXPO® Classroom Makeover Contest and won the contest's grand prize receiving a much-needed, color-infused $25,000 classroom makeover. EXPO, makers of dry erase markers, boards and accessories, developed the contest to bring colorful, improved learning environments to schools across the country, and has teamed up with Paige Hemmis of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and Scholastic Magazine to complete Mrs. Ramer's classroom makeover.

Mrs. Ramer's essay describing why her classroom deserves a makeover was selected from entries across the country to be one of five semifinalists. After having her essay posted online alongside the other semifinalists' essays, America voted and determined Mrs. Ramer as the grand prize winner.

"I am so excited that my classroom was chosen for this makeover," said Ramer. "We lost everything in Katrina, I don't even have bookshelves! The students have been such troopers and have helped out a lot. This makeover will give us all a good reason to keep moving forward."

After seeing first-hand the amount of devastation the school and community endured from the hurricane, EXPO felt compelled to give all of Trent Lott Middle School a colorful new environment. EXPO is completely erasing chalk and providing brand new EXPO dry erase boards to every single classroom as well as EXPO dry erase products and accessories, Mimio® Interactive whiteboard systems and other color enhancements throughout the school.

"The Pascagoula School District would like to thank EXPO for its generosity to our school district," said Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich. "With everything our teachers and students have been through, the EXPO makeover helps us breathe new life into our classrooms at Trent Lott Middle School."

Why Color in the Classroom?
For teachers, the EXPO Classroom Makeover Contest presents a rare opportunity to renovate their classrooms by adding color as well as a variety of colorful teaching tools. Results from a survey sponsored by EXPO[1] revealed that teachers and students believe there is a strong connection between color and learning in the classroom. In fact, 92 percent of teachers agreed that color enhances classroom learning for students, and 80 percent of students said that words in color are easier to remember. However, many schools are still struggling with lackluster learning environments due to a lack of budget for renovations and upgrades - an obstacle that EXPO is aiming to help erase. Hemmis says EXPO's mission makes the contest, now in its third year, a cause worth supporting.

"I'm elated to team up with EXPO dry erase products to make a positive impact on teachers and students," Hemmis said. "Teachers give so much of themselves to their students that it's wonderful to be able to reward and give back to such deserving individuals for their hard work and dedication. Both my mom and brother are educators so this subject is very near and dear to my heart."

Survey Says...!
In addition to enhancing classroom learning, a recent survey[2] found that color is also a staple among teachers with 95 percent using colorful teaching materials to: attract students' attention (82 percent), emphasize key terms (70 percent), encourage creativity (59 percent), create a motivating and engaging environment (59 percent) and make material easier to read (55 percent).

Beyond revealing that color is an important classroom component, the EXPO survey also found that if given the chance to make enhancements to their classroom, more than half of teachers and students would add new technology that actively engages students. For this reason a Mimio Interactive + Capture whiteboard system will be included as part of the grand prize package. When used in the classroom with a data projector, Mimio Interactive whiteboard system transforms the dry erase whiteboard into a touch sensitive display from which online and multimedia content can be presented, interactively manipulated and integrated into lessons. A bonus feature of the Mimio Interactive whiteboard system is that it can also capture handwritten EXPO dry erase marker notes in real time, recording every stroke of the marker in a digital document that can be printed, shared via email, posted to Web pages and/or integrated into other materials.

"Research shows that both color and technology are important components for learning," said Dana Truby, executive editor of Scholastic Instructor magazine. "EXPO markers and boards and interactive technology provide an effective solution for teachers, allowing them to really connect and capture their students' imaginations with color. That's why I'm glad to be a part of the EXPO Classroom Makeover Contest to provide more teachers with the tools they need to help students learn."

"It's truly a privilege for EXPO to help renew classrooms," said Jill Rahman, vice president of marketing for Sanford, makers of EXPO. "We're proud to have the opportunity to help modernize and bring color to a school that has been through so much. We hope to help make the learning process more engaging, functional and fun for both the teachers and the students at Trent Lott Middle School."

Rules to Win By
The 2007 EXPO Classroom Makeover Contest builds upon an overwhelming response to the program last year. The 2007 campaign invites K-12 teachers nationwide to submit a classroom photo and write an essay of no more than 100 words describing why their classrooms deserve a makeover. Essays will be collected through October 15, 2007. One grand-prize winner will be selected based on judging criteria set forth in the official rules and will be entitled to a classroom makeover worth $25,000. In addition, four first-place prizes of $5,000 classroom makeovers will be awarded. Contest rules and application instructions are available online at www.expoclassroommakeover.com.

About Mimio®
Mimio® brand products are key to successfully integrating technology into today's changing classroom. Paired with a dry erase board, Mimio products allow teachers to present engaging and interactive lessons to the class while digitally capturing notes and graphics that can be saved and shared. Mimio is a brand of Sanford L.P. - a Newell Rubbermaid Company. For more information on the full line of Mimio products, visit www.Mimio .com.

About EXPO®
One of Sanford L.P.'s most popular brands, EXPO® is a leader in dry erase markers, accessories and dry erase board surfaces. Sanford, a Newell Rubbermaid Company, is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, art products and office organization, including such well known brands as Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Parker®, DYMO®, CardScan®, Waterman®, uni-ball® and Rolodex™, among others. Sanford makes more than 6,000 products, ranging from markers, pens and pencils to professional art products, fine writing instruments and office organization products. For more information on the full line of EXPO markers, boards and accessories, visit www.expomarkers.com.

For official rules and more information on the 2007 EXPO Classroom Makeover Contest, go to www.expoclassroommakeover.com.

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[1]EXPO conducted the online survey in January of 2006 via Impulse Research Corporation with a random sample of 1,543 teachers and 1,527 students, grades 3-12 from across the country--all members of the CyberPulse Advisory Panel. The Advisory Panel has been carefully selected to closely match U.S. population demographics. The overall sampling error for this survey is +/- 2.5% at the 95% level of confidence.

[2] EXPO® conducted the online survey in February of 2007 via Impulse Research Corporation with a random sample of 1,009 teachers grades K-12 and 1,059 students grades 5-12 from across the country - all members of the CyberPulse Advisory Panel. The Advisory Panel has been carefully selected to closely match U.S. population demographics. The overall sampling error for this survey is +/- 3% at the 95% level of confidence.