YALSA, WWE® kick off WrestleMania® Reading Challenge

Contact: Stephanie Kuenn

YALSA Communications Specialist




For Immediate Release

October 21, 2008

CHICAGO — The national WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and World Wrestling Entertainment® (WWE), with support from Mattel, had its formal launch last week as part of national Teen Read Week.

More than 1,800 librarians across the U.S. registered for the fourth annual reading challenge, which this year expands to include teens and tweens in grades 5–12. Teen Read Week (Oct. 12-19), encouraged participants to read, and the WrestleMania Reading Challenge has the goal of extending the habit of reading from Teen Read Week into the rest of the academic year. Students who participate in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge are encouraged to read one item a week — a magazine, a book or other materials — and keep a reading log continuing through Jan. 12, 2009. (Students can enroll anytime during the contest period as long as they complete the reading requirements and reading log prior to Jan. 12.) Students who turn in their completed reading logs verifying they have read at least 10 items will receive a WWE miniposter. Students can then enter a bookmark contest. Each participating library chooses a winner for each age group (grades 5–6, 7–8 and 9–12). Bookmark winners on the local level will win a DVD from WWE.

“Working with WWE and Mattel provides YALSA the chance to reach a wide audience of teens and tweens with a message about the vital role books, reading and libraries can play in their lives,” said YALSA President Sarah Cornish Debraski.

Fifteen finalists (three in each grade category from five different regions) will win airfare, hotel and tickets to WrestleMania XXV in Houston for themselves and a parent or guardian, while their sponsoring library wins $2,000. Those finalists in grades 7–12 will have a chance to compete in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge National Finals in Houston, Texas. The winner of the finals from grades 7-8 and of the finals from grades 9-12 will each be crowned WrestleMania Reading Challenge Champion and win ringside seats at WrestleMania XXV.

Geof Rochester, WWE’s executive vice president, marketing, said that the WrestleMania Reading Challenge ties into a new WWE kids outreach initiative that also included the 2008 launch of WWE Kids magazine and WWEKids.com website. “WWE is always looking for ways to use the power of its brand to encourage young people to do something positive in their lives,” he said. “The WrestleMania Reading Challenge continues to grow in size and scope because it is proving to be a successful way to get more teens to make reading a habit.”

"We are pleased to be able to support literacy amongst young adults across the country," said Deidre Lind, executive director, Mattel philanthropy programs and Mattel Children's Foundation. "Working together with YALSA, the ALA and WWE, we look forward to making a meaningful difference, one child at a time, through the WrestleMania Reading Challenge."

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail,

Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) can be found at
wwe.com and
corporate.wwe.com. For information on its global activities, go to

Mattel, Inc., (NYSE: MAT,
www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie(r), the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels(r), Matchbox(r), American Girl(r), Radica(r) and Tyco(r) R/C, as well as Fisher-Price(r) brands, including Little People(r), Power Wheels(r) and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. Mattel is recognized as one of 2008's "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE Magazine and among the 100 Most Trustworthy U.S. Companies by Forbes Magazine. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Mattel contributes 2% of its pretax profit to its global philanthropic efforts. Mattel's vision is to be the world's premier toy brands -- today and tomorrow.