Happy National Crayon Day + Crayon Facts!

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Is there anything that smells better than a brand new box of crayons??? Nope, didn’t think so!!  New crayons smell like possibility – so many amazing things that can be created with crayons.  Even as an adult, I still like to color – sometimes with my kids!  Coloring is a great stress reliever, and is a fun, non-tech related activity that the whole family can enjoy.

In celebration of National Crayon Day, here are some fun crayon facts – but don’t stop reading there – keep reading to find out how Head Start partners with Crayon Collection to ensure that crayons get into the hands of some of the U.S’s neediest kids.

  • Teachers spend an average $750 of their own income on school supplies each year. Efforts such as the Crayon Collection – which collects millions of gently used crayons each year and distributes them to Title One schools in low-income neighborhoods – can help offset those costs.
  • The world’s biggest manufacturer of crayons is Crayola, which alone produces 12 million crayons a day and nearly 3 billion crayons annually … Enough to circle the Earth six times when laid end to end! Crayola crayons are packaged in 12 languages and sold in 80 countries.  The company produced its 100 billionth crayon on February 6, 1996.  Dixon Ticonderoga – manufacturer of another iconic writing instrument of childhood, the #2 yellow pencil – is probably the second largest producer of crayons in the U.S., under the American Crayon brand name.
  • Well over 100 million crayons are thrown out every year by more than 15,000 family-style restaurant chains across the U.S.
  • 112 average crayons equals one pound of waste … You do the math!
  • Crayon waste has a significant, negative environmental impact. Made from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum, it can take years (even decades) for a crayon to decompose in a landfill.
  • The average child wears down 720 crayons by their 10th birthday!
  • Crayons are the 18th most recognizable smell in the world according to a Yale University study, trailing coffee and peanut butter that were number one and two respectively, but beating out cheese and bleach, which placed at 19 and 20.
  • Early crayons – introduced in the 1800s – were black and sold mainly to factories and plants as waterproof markers. Colored crayons for artistic purposes were introduced in Europe around the same time, but like the black crayons, contained materials that were toxic and thus were not appropriate for children. The first non-toxic crayons suitable for kids, in a package of eight for 5 cents, was marketed in the U.S. in 1903. Contemporary crayons are entirely non-toxic (adhering to strict legal guidelines).
  • Today, children can choose from hundreds of shades of crayons … Although in an online “census” in 2000 done by Crayola (which produces 120 core colors), blue turned out to be the most-popular color in the U.S., with six shades voted onto the top-10 list, including cerulean, midnight blue, periwinkle, aquamarine, denim and blizzard blue.
  • In 1998, the Smithsonian Institute added a 1958 64-count box of Crayola crayons to the permanent collection of the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. That same year, Crayola crayons were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York and were featured on a 32-cent U.S. postage stamp.
  • The largest crayon in the world was created by Crayola (in blue, of course) in 2003 and is on display at its headquarters in Easton, Pennsylvania. Weighing 1,500 pounds, it is 15-feet long, 16 inches in diameter and was created out of 123,000 blue crayons mailed in from children across the country. It could color an entire football field or draw a line 10 miles long!

The Crayon Collection is a national initiative the collects millions of crayons from restaurants around the country, and they have formed a partnership with the  National Head Start Association (NHSA) to bring crayons into thousands of Head Start classrooms.

Founded in 2011 by philanthropist and southern California mom, Sheila Michail Morovati, the Crayon Collection’s mission is simple: To collect as many crayons as possible and donate them to kids in need. Billions of crayons are produced in the U.S. each year and many of them end up in landfills, taking years to decompose. Partnering with popular restaurant chains – including California Pizza Kitchen, Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks and other national chains to be announced soon – the Crayon Collection collects millions of crayons and redistributes them to schools in low-income neighborhoods.

The NHSA – a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in life – is the voice for more than 1 million children, 200,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the U.S.

Commented NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci, “Restaurants throw away millions of crayons each year. NHSA and the Crayon Collection will help keep crayons out of landfills and put them in the hands of vulnerable children. This partnership is a great example of how Head Start works innovatively to engage with businesses in local communities.”

Said Morovati, founder and chairman of the board of the Crayon Collection, “We are thrilled to partner with  the National Head Start Association to expand the Crayon Collection’s reach to our nation’s youngest, most at-risk, early learners, while helping the environment. No child should have to attend school without the most basic of supplies.”

If you’d like to learn more about the Crayon Collection or donate crayons from your restaurant, visit them online at:  www.CrayonCollection.org

Visit the National Head Start Association at: www.NHSA.org

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