Clifford turns 50

Celebration of the big red dog's 50th will span the school year

Clifford the Big Red Dog is turning 50 this year.

Clifford the Big Red Dog is turning 50 this year.

Scholastic Media is kicking off the 50th anniversary celebration of Clifford the Big Red Dog Monday, Sept. 24, with the "Biggest Birthday Party Ever" at Scholastic headquarters in New York City, a live event which will be streamed to classrooms nationwide.

The campaign will span the school year and will include the launch of new publishing, a birthday card campaign and a national sweepstakes leading up to Clifford’s official birthday on Feb. 14.

Since the first Clifford book was published in 1963, the property has expanded to include 126 million books in print and an Emmy Award-winning television series – currently in its 12th consecutive season on PBS KIDS.

“For 50 years, Clifford has earned a place among the most iconic and beloved characters in children’s literature and entertainment,” said Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Media and Executive Vice President of Scholastic Inc.

Highlights of the Clifford 50th Anniversary year include:

• On Sept. 24, at 10 a.m., Scholastic will host a live celebration at their New York City headquarters and webcast to classrooms nationwide. Hundreds of children will gather to sing "Happy Birthday" to Clifford, and Norman Bridwell will be on hand for a big reveal on the façade of the company’s iconic SoHo building. Children attending the live event and joining via webcast will get to participate in some big birthday fun – including activities that reinforce the social / emotional, literacy and language skills that Clifford espouses.

• In September, Scholastic will publish "Norman Bridwell's Classic Collection," a collection of six classic stories originally published between 1963-1977. Also included is an original letter from Norman Bridwell to the reader, information about the creation of Clifford and the story behind the real Emily Elizabeth. Spring 2013 will bring the publication of "Clifford's Birthday Party" and an all-new board book, "Clifford's Bedtime Story."

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