Both Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark grew up in Pennsylvania farming families in the early 1900s, then met while attending college – a fitting place for a pair whose love of learning would be the foundation of the company they created together, Highlights for Children, Inc. Caroline taught school while Garry pursued his Ph.D. in child psychology at Columbia University. They married, and from that time on, they were partners in everything they did – as parents, as educators, and ultimately as creators of their dream, a children's magazine that helped kids have "Fun with a Purpose."
The Myerses enjoyed long and productive careers as teachers, lecturers, and nationally recognized leaders in education and childhood development. During that time, Dr. Myers authored "Parent Problems," a popular King Features, Inc., syndicated column that was published for more than 40 years in hundreds of newspapers across the country.
Over a lifetime of study and work with children and parents, the Myerses formed a clear vision of what a quality magazine for children should be. They believed that childhood is a joyous time. They felt that children develop positive self-worth by using their creativity and imagination, developing their reading, thinking, and reasoning skills, and learning to treat others with respect, kindness, and sensitivity. They also believed that every child has a great capacity to learn and understand.
From the late 1920s to the mid-1930s, Garry and Caroline helped develop a number of parenting publications. For 10 years, they were the editors of Children's Activities, a popular magazine for young children. In 1946, instead of retiring, they decided to take the next step in their journey to creating a publication designed around their philosophy of "Fun with a Purpose." They took their savings and invested it in their dream, a magazine they named Highlights, reflecting their intention to include only the best material for children.
Working in a two-room office over a car dealership in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, with a tiny band of co-workers, the Myerses created the first issue of the magazine they had long imagined. That first issue had a print run of 20,000 copies; in June 2006, the one-billionth copy of the magazine rolled off the presses just in time for the company's 60th anniversary.
The Myerses' philosophy that children are best taught values by seeing positive examples in stories and articles is a foundation of the magazine. With this idea in mind, Garry created many of the monthly features that still run in today's Highlights magazine, including "Goofus and Gallant®," "The Bear Family," and "BrainPlay." Also important to the Myerses was their belief in the brotherhood of man and respect for differences of all kinds. From the beginning, the magazine has celebrated children's experiences in many different cultures around the world.
Over the course of their lifetime, the Myerses received public recognition and awards for their work from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Freedoms Foundation, and the National Association of Gifted Children. Highlights has received numerous awards for editorial excellence from the Association of Educational Publishers (formerly the Educational Press Association of America). More important to the Myerses themselves and to the employees of the company today, Highlights for Children has helped millions of children become their best selves--creative, curious, confident, and caring individuals.
Today, Highlights for Children is committed to the same values that guided the Myerses' work. Their belief that children experience fun and joy when they use their innate creativity, curiosity, thinking ability, and imagination and their commitment to the motto "Fun with a Purpose" can still be found on every page of Highlights magazine and in an expanding family of products, from Highlights High Five, aimed at children ages 2 through 6, to the games, puzzles, and crafts in book clubs such as Puzzlemania, Puzzle Buzz, and Which Way USA?