Challenge Guide On-Demand FAQs

Why has CC changed to an on-demand ordering system?

Over the years Challenge Directors have expressed a desire to have printed guides available earlier than they have been in the past. Classical Conversations MultiMedia Inc., CC’s publishing team, has spent a lot of time researching how to best meet this request. In the past, over 6,000 Challenge guide orders were submitted to a single printer. Now, the new, on-demand process utilizes multiple print centers that will make the Challenge guides more quickly available across the country.

Classical Conversations has a strong working relationship with Office Depot/Office Max. It is a national company with more than 1,300 stores in all 50 states and Canada.

As a licensed Director why do I have to purchase my guide?

All licensed Directors are responsible for purchasing the tools they need to facilitate a licensed Classical Conversations program. The Challenge Guide is a necessary resource for both Director and parents. Years ago, the Challenge Guide cost used to be a separate fee. We have returned to that practice this year. We believe the benefits of this new ordering process are worthwhile.

We understand that a change in process can be difficult and having the Director order and pay for guides is a change in the most recent process. Over the past few years we have seen the need for a change; projecting the number of guides needed to serve all the students nationwide, having last-minute content improvements, and receiving guides later in the season have been a few of the issues of large scale ordering and printing. While there is never a perfect time to implement change, this is the year that was chosen, and we realize the concern this has caused for some. We believe the benefits of this new ordering process are worthwhile.

Why is the Challenge Guide cost approximately $10?

Having researched several vendors, Office Depot is the lowest-priced retailer. The cost per guide will vary from a little over $8 to a little over $10, depending on the guide program level. At about 200 pages per Challenge Guide, at 5 cents per page, this cost is reasonable. The difference between what Office Depot is charging and their cost is minimal. This is also on-demand printing, not bulk printing. There are business costs for Office Depot in arranging and maintaining this offer for our 3,800+ Challenge Directors.

What are the options for collecting monies for the guides?

Depending on budgets, some Directors may choose to use their supply fee to pay for the guides without impacting families at all; however, other Directors may choose to pass the cost on to families. The suggested supply fee for Challenge has been increased by $10 in order to provide a Director with more supply fee money to cover the cost, if needed.

What is the primary benefit to share with families when they order and pay for their guide?

In the past families usually received guides in mid to late July, thus shortening parent preparation time and adding stress to students, parents, and Directors. Now, everyone will have paper guides a month to possibly six weeks earlier than in the past. This will lead to a more restful summer, greater opportunity for parents to prepare, and more flexibility for the local Directors to plan and host orientations.

What are some options for free shipping if I have a smaller class or do not have an Office Depot/Max near me?

Office Depot/Office Max is a national company with more than 1,300 stores in all 50 states and Canada. We realize not every program may have five or more students. However, we are certainly familiar with working together to take advantage of free shipping with integrity and excellence. Perhaps local Directors with smaller programs can order together. Ask your SR for help in partnering small classes together and then bring the guides to a mid-summer event. The maximum order is 14, and the right combination of smaller programs may be the solution.

Can registered families have more than one copy of the guide?

Parents can make a personal copy as they desire, but as always, we need to remember that these guides are proprietary and for the use of registered families only—Challenge guides are not for sharing.

How will the guides be bound?

The guides will be delivered in a three-ring binder this year—at a minimal cost included in the price of the guide—to make the guides easy to use and flexible enough to add pages if desired. Imagine a world where Challenge A students no longer rip open shrink-wrapped guides only to have pages fly around the room! We know each person’s preferences vary, and for now the three-ring binder is the only binding option available, but we are investigating the option for spiral binding as a future option.

Are there any limitations right now related to Office Depot and COVID-19?

Always check with your local store for their current practices. Here is Office Depot’s CEO statement related to COVID-19:

In-store and Curbside pickup information:

Where can I find additional details and process links?

Details and the process links were initially released in the December 2019 Director Connector. More information is also in the May 2020 Director Connector (sending/sent on May 25). You can also consult with your team leader for the most updated information.

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