Beacon Street Girls and Atlas Travel International Create Strategic Alliance to Expand Family Leisure Options

LEXINGTON, MA  (November 28, 2006) – B*tween Productions, Inc., home of the Beacon Street Girls (BSG), and Atlas Travel International today announced a unique partnership designed to link literacy and learning with real-life adventure.  The strategic alliance will expose preteen girls and their families to new and different activities and cultures, educating families on an expanded array of family activities.  These options will help children and their families think “outside the box” when it comes to planning for their leisure time.

“Overnight theme park visits represent a significant portion of the vacation industry,” said Elaine Osgood, founder and president of Atlas Travel International.  “While theme parks are one choice for vacationing families, a vast array of other exciting options exist that offer families wonderful educational and cultural opportunities. We are working with families to offer convenient access to a wider array of destinations.”

Addie Swartz, the principal creator of the Beacon Street Girls and a mother of two agrees.  “Our mission is to provide girls with positive role models through our award-winning books and website.  With the introduction of our Beacon Street Girl Adventure series, we can’t think of a more natural partner than Atlas Travel International. Together, we are providing girls with the opportunity to meet exciting people, experience interesting places and explore different cultures.”

Vacation Survey Quantifies Role Children Play in Determining Leisure Activities

Based on an international survey co-authored by the two companies in October, almost half of the preteen respondents had some say in deciding where their families go on vacation. More than 80 percent of the respondents think getting vacation ideas from the books they read is a great idea and 17 percent have previously taken a vacation based on a book they have personally read.

Local Partnership to Reap Regional and National Visibility

The two companies will kick off their strategic partnership with a national sweepstakes, offering a trip to Paris as the grand prize. Atlas will offer its customers a vacation tour of Paris based on the Beacon Street Girls latest book, “Charlotte in Paris” and will assist in researching the places detailed in upcoming BSG Adventure books. In addition, Atlas vacation experts will author helpful articles on family travel for the Beacon Street Girls’ free monthly parenting e-newsletter.  B*tween will include Atlas in its in-store book promotions.

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To celebrate the relationship, Atlas Travel’s sister business, the Savvy Travel Shop in Lexington, MA, and the Atlas Travel International corporate office in Milford, MA will offer a special “Charlotte in Paris” shopping week the first week in December, including books and Beacon Street Girls gifts.  Beacon Street Girls creators will attend events and sign books.  

“By working with B*tween, Atlas will be able to reach thousands of potential travelers, encouraging them to think out of the ‘theme park’ box when it comes to planning their family vacations,” concluded Osgood. “The Beacon Street Girls provide wonderful role models for preteen girls, and their individual adventures show them that there is a whole fantastic world to explore.”

The Beacon Street Girls are five plucky twelve-year-olds whose adventures have been chronicled in an award-winning book series for preteen girls (www.beaconstreetgirls.com/books.) Girls love to read about the characters who are “just like me” and parents are thrilled to see their daughters reading the books which help to promote healthy role models and build self-esteem.  B*tween Productions recently released the first Beacon Street Girls Adventure book, “Charlotte in Paris.”

Atlas Travel is distinguished as the exclusive northeast U.S. affiliate of the global network of BCD Travel, as well as Ensemble Travel, serving both corporate and individual vacation travelers. An elite, award-winning travel firm, the company is the brainchild of Elaine Osgood, the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for travel in New England.

About Atlas Travel International, Inc.:
Atlas Travel International is a full-service travel agency serving millions of trips for corporate, vacation and meeting travel needs. Honored as a leading business in New England and a leader in the travel industry, Atlas is headquartered in Milford, Massachusetts and has offices throughout the New England region. More information about Atlas Travel International is available on the Web at http://www.atlastravel.com or by calling 1-800-362-8626.

About B*tween Productions
B*tween Productions – home of the Beacon Street Girls – is dedicated to quality parent-approved literature, media and gifts for “tween” girls, those girls “between toys and boysä.” Shaped by leading experts in adolescent development and current research on how to positively impact girls’ self-esteem, the award-winning Beacon Street Girls book series is committed to the health and well-being of preteen girls.

BSG books and products are available at Barnes & Noble, Borders, WaldenBooks, Amazon.com, Learning Express and BSG’s COPPA-compliant Web site, as well as at independent book and gift stores nationwide. In Canada, Beacon Street Girls books are distributed by Georgetown Publications, Inc., and are available at Chapters, Coles and Indigo book stores, as well as through independent stores. Visit the BSG online at www.beaconstreetgirls.com.

Editorial Note:  Images and further survey data available

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