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Walt Disney World Named Site of Reader's Digest Word Finals


             Students Compete for $50,000 in College Scholarships
                  Al Roker Returns as Celebrity Quiz Master

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- From March 29-31, Walt Disney World(R) Resort will be the site of the championship round in the second annual Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge(SM) -- an educational outreach program based on the popular Word Power feature in Reader's Digest magazine. Fourth through eighth graders from across the country will travel to Disney -- MGM Studios to compete for $50,000 in college scholarships.

Al Roker, best known as America's favorite weatherman from NBC's Today Show returns as "Quiz Master" for the final round. Campbell Soup Company, with a 30-year history of assisting schools through their "Labels for Education" program, is the exclusive sponsor of the event.

Contestants and their teacher-escorts arrive for the opening round of competition on Monday, March 29. Ten finalists will compete in the championship round on Wednesday, March 31. The first place winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship. Second and third place winners will receive college scholarships of $15,000 and $10,000. The winners will also receive Reader's Digest products for their schools.

"Walt Disney World(R) Resort is a fabulous site for the final round," said Nancy Strini, Executive Director of Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge. "The contestants have worked very hard to advance to this level of competition, and we're extremely proud of their efforts."

Beginning in August 2003, over one million students have competed nationwide in the Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge. The top 100 statewide school winners will vie for a trip to the finals during the state championships taking place in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and the Department of Defense Schools on February 27.

Walt Disney World(R) Resort is a 47-square-mile world-class entertainment and recreation center featuring four theme parks, two water adventure parks, 31 resort hotels (21 Disney owned & operated), 99 holes of golf on six courses, two full-service spas, Disney's Wedding Pavilion, Disney's Wide World of Sports complex and Downtown Disney, an entertainment-shopping-dining district.

Al Roker Productions, Inc., a multimedia company involved in the development and production of network, cable, home video and public television projects, will produce a television program of the Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge Championship Event. The show will air on NBC in fourteen major markets nationwide in early summer. This is the second joint project between Al Roker Productions, Inc. and Reader's Digest, a partnership designed to help develop programs for television that will inspire the 40 million readers of Reader's Digest and its global community.

The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (NYSE: RDA) is a global publisher and direct marketer of products that inform, enrich, entertain, and inspire people of all ages and cultures. Reader's Digest is the most widely read magazine in the world. The company is located at Pleasantville, New York. The company's main website is at www.rd.com. The Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge is an educational outreach program of Reader's Digest magazine. Schools are encouraged to register for next year's competition at www.wordpowerchallenge.com.

SOURCE  Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

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