Inside This Issue:
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has announced the proposal of Adoption Plus (A+), a public-private partnership that combines digital media literacy training with discounted broadband services and computers for middle school students in low-income families across the nation. The two year pilot program will promote broadband adoption for up to 3.5 million students, qualified by their eligibility for reduced or free school lunch under the National School Lunch Program.
In a statement, Kyle McSlarrow, president and CEO of NCTA, described the program’s main goals as “to drive sustainable adoption in populations that currently do not benefit from broadband, and to materially and positively affect educational performance among participating students.”
The A+ program was designed to tackle common barriers that hinder broadband adoption, including computer ownership, affordability, and digital literacy. To combat these issues, the program’s support structure includes proactive tactics on the educational and financial fronts. School districts, or their state equivalent, would be tasked with providing federally funded digital media literacy training to eligible students, including online safety and the responsible use of broadband. Such training would have to meet minimum standards established by the federal government and could be extended to parents and guardians of participating students. Participation on A+ will also qualify students for discounts on computers and home broadband service.
Cable providers represented by NCTA have agreed to participate—offering A+ households service and a cable modem at a 50 percent discount. Participating companies include Bend Broadband, Bresnan Communications, Bright House, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Eagle Communications, GCI, Insight Communication, Mediacom, Midcontinent Communications, Sjoberg’s Cable, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable, and US Cable. The program is open to other interested broadband internet service providers as well.
Created following conversations with the Federal Communications Committee (FCC), A+ has been submitted to the FCC in response to its request for comment on broadband adoption in connection with its development of a national broadband plan. For more information, contact Rob Stoddard or Brian Dietz at 202-222-2350.
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2010 will be another year of change, challenge and opportunity for cable communicators. How can you make it a success? Evaluating what you accomplished and what was not as successful as you may have wished in 2009 and setting goals and plans for 2010 is a great start. ACC has lined up three experts to share their ideas and experiences in this area for “Communications Planning for 2010—An ACC Online Chat,” December 8, 2-3 pm EST. All cable communicators are encouraged to join this ACC Online Chat and offer tips on how they have used planning to help them succeed in their cable communications and public affairs efforts.
How ACC Members Can Participate:
If you have a question that you would like to ask Kim, Carol or Cary but will not be able to participate in the live chat, please email Michelle Butler your question.
ACC will post a transcript of the chat in the members-only section of its Web site. You must be logged into the members-only area to access this portal, and you can log in through the member log in box in the left-hand corner of any page of the ACC Web site. Your username is your work email address, and the password is your last name all in lowercase letters.
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USA Network has presented the first Characters Unite Award, an honor created to recognize an individual who has made a significant and lasting difference in efforts to fight prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination, to Brian Jeffrey, a high school teacher from California. The award is part of the network’s Characters Unite diversity campaign.
The award was presented by “Psych” actor Dule Hill at a luncheon held at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Jeffrey was selected by the National Education Association, one of Characters Unite’s NGO partners, and received $10,000 to donate to his project or a related nonprofit organization. He will also be featured on Charactersunite.com.
A 20-year veteran of teaching, Jeffrey was honored for his work in combating prejudice and discrimination. He co-founded a multiracial student club called “Socially Together and Naturally Diverse” (STAND) as a way to bring students together against discrimination. Early on, the group dealt with the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles race riots, but has since expanded to include a drama group and other activities. Jeffrey has also received the 2009 National Council of Teachers of English National Teacher Award, the 2008 California Teachers Association Human Rights award, and The National Education Association Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Human and Civil Rights.
Characters Unite is a USA Network’s community affairs campaign created to address social injustice and cultural divides in today’s society. The award was presented as a part of the campaign’s Town Hall event which included experts on diversity answering questions from participants around the nation. For more information, visit www.charactersunite.com.
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Are you interested in getting connected to ACC in a fresh way? ACC is looking for volunteers for our FORUM, Beacon Award and ACC Board Committees. Get involved and help mold ACC programs to meet the needs of cable communicators.
FORUM Committee members will help determine the agenda and promote FORUM 2010 to the industry. Beacon Award volunteers manage the complete entry process from promotion to judging to the Beacon Awards Gala. Board Committees develop association programs and help members get connected to one another.
For more information on the committees, go to ACC’s Web site. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact ACC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 800-210-33960. You can also print out a volunteer form and fax it to ACC at 202-222-2371.
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Demonstrating the educational value of cable to today’s youth, Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Discovery have become significant players in President Obama’s recently announced science and technology campaign, “Educate to Innovate.” The campaign aims to increase participation and performance of American students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Both TWC and Discovery Communications have launched programs that address STEM education and were singled out when the president announced the campaign earlier this week.
TWC first announced its plans to spend $100 million in cash and in-kind resources toward a five-year philanthropic plan to address America's continuing decline in STEM education in April of 2009. That plan has evolved into “Connect a Million Minds,” a pro-social program that provides students with STEM-themed after-school activities. The program centers on the Web site www.connectamillionminds.com, where students and their guardians can find activities in their area through a zip code search. Parents, community members, and after-school program administrators are invited to pledge to support STEM education efforts on the site as well. Participants can watch video case studies of inventors and technologists talking about their projects, and post photos and narratives about their STEM experiences, creating a community of people who share a common interest and passion for scientific pursuits.
TWC has partnered with FIRST and the Coalition for Science After School (CSAS) to give the program national scope and local application. The program highlights FIRST robotics competitions around the country and encourages volunteers and mentors to support teams of young participants. CSAS is leading development of the national database of STEM activities and using its national presence and local partnerships to engage after-school STEM programs in “Connect a Million Minds.”
The operator aims to reach 1 million kids by 2014. TWC will also use PSAs and community events to raise STEM education awareness and participate in a coalition made of public figures and other companies to boost business efforts supporting the cause.
Discovery is also responding to the president’s call with their initiative “Be the Future.” The multi-platform initiative involves many Discovery entities, including Science Channel, Discovery Education, Discovery Channel, and the network of Web sites. Major science series and specials will be created to air across Discovery’s networks, including episodes of the new “Curiosity” series, and the Science Channel will feature a commercial-free block of programming geared toward middle school students Monday through Saturday. Discovery Communications will also launch a “Be the Future” PSA and campaign featuring network personalities discussing the importance of STEM education.
Beyond programming, Discovery is creating curriculum, competitions, and research efforts to support STEM. Discovery Education will offer STEM Connect, a curriculum-based and career development science resource that links STEM concepts to real world application. Discovery Education will also partner with The Siemens Foundation, to create a national STEM education program for teachers: The Siemens STEM Academy. The program will include an online repository of teaching practices, and will offer webinars and seminars on teaching STEM. Also, Siemens’ We Can Change the World Challenge and Discovery Education 3M Young Scientists Challenge science competitions will incorporate STEM initiatives. Discovery will also launch a comprehensive research study into how media can encourage students to engage in STEM education. For more information, visit the “Be the Future” portion of Discovery’s Web site.
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Cablevision Systems Corporation, Madison Square Garden, and Rainbow Media will team up with The Lustgarten Foundation to present the 9th Annual Holiday Rock & Roll Bash on Thursday, December 10 in New York City.
Since its inception in 2001, the Bash has raised more than $8 million for scientific and clinical research related to pancreatic cancer, making it the Foundation’s premier fundraising event. And now, with Cablevision’s multi-year commitment to underwrite all of the Foundation’s administrative expenses, 100% of every donation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research. This means that every dollar raised at the Bash will go even further toward finding a cure for pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
The Bash is a season favorite with more than a thousand guests gathering each year at B.B. King Blues Club amid the holiday hustle and bustle of New York City's Times Square. For more information on corporate sponsorships, please contact the Bash office at (516) 803-2354 or go to www.lustgarten.org/Bash9. To find out more about Cablevision and The Lustgarten Foundation’s fight against pancreatic cancer, visit www.curepc.org.
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For the third year, ESPN has partnered with The V Foundation for Cancer Research for the Jimmy V Week campaign. The network will incorporate fundraising and awareness initiatives into special programming across the network’s multiple platforms to support The V Foundation, from December 2-8.
Various programs on the network will contain mentions of the Jimmy V Week initiative as well as during men and women’s basketball, soccer and hockey games. The BottomLine scores and news crawl will also feature information on donating to the foundation. Members of the sports world who have been impacted by cancer will tell their stories on air as well as chat online to raise awareness.
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ACC makes it easy to show your commitment to the industry in your online professional profile by having a presence on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Join and follow ACC for the latest in cable communications information, opportunities, and networking. Today, your online presence plays a large role in shaping your professional image; you want it to reflect every aspect of your career. Membership in professional associations shows your dedication to advancing the industry and is a key component of career building. Make sure you’re known as an ACC member by following us on Twitter and joining our Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
ACC's Facebook and LinkedIn groups keep you plugged into a nationwide community of cable communicators with updated articles, discussions, and events. For more information, contact Prasana William, Membership Services Coordinator, at email@example.com or 800-210-3396.
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BET’s Rap-It-Up pro-social initiative focused its educational and awareness efforts on Washington, D.C. for World AIDS Day on December 1. The initiative hosted film screenings, free testing, performances, and discussions throughout the nation’s capital, where the spread of AIDS has reached epidemic proportions.
In partnership with The National Medical Association, Rap-It-Up premiered the film “God, Me…HIV?” at the Newseum, November 30. The film presents seven confessional narratives concerning HIV and is based on the one man show of poet and actor Egypt. The initiative also featured open discussions in partnership with national and local organizations including The Magic Johnson Foundation, WPGC-FM, Metro Teen AIDS, and Realtalk DC. For more information, visit http://www.rapituppresents.com/.
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Now is the best time to encourage your peers to join ACC. The association has announced a new “test drive” trial membership initiative that will allow prospective individual members to participate in ACC’s various programs and professional development activities on a trial basis for six months free and without further obligation.
The new “test drive” concept will allow prospective members to join the organization without paying any up-front fees, and experience all the benefits ACC has to offer, including a comprehensive Web site, online chats and Webinars and ACC Briefs on key topics of interest for six months. To continue benefits and access to ACC programs after the trial period ends, new members simply pay half of the first year’s dues, or $100 to complete the year. The new “test drive” program runs through December 31, 2010. For more information, contact Prasana William at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-210-3396.
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Time Warner Cable (TWC) has launched the “Roll Over or Get Tough” campaign to obtain customer feedback on the price of programming. The campaign includes the recently active Web site, www.rolloverorgettough.com, where customers can vote on whether the MSO should agree to prices that have been proposed in contract renewal discussions with programmers or continue negotiating.
“We have some tough choices to make, and we want to make sure we’re doing what’s best for our customers, so we’re asking them to help us decide what to do,” Glenn Britt, TWC President and CEO, said in a statement.
The Web site gives visitors the option to select “Roll Over,” implying that they want TWC to agree with the prices put forward by programmers even if it means a possible increase to their subscription, or “Get Tough,” which would involve the MSO continuing price negotiations even if it results in delayed availability of programming. TWC plans to reach out to customers through newspaper, online, and TV advertising. For more information, contact Alex Dudley at email@example.com.
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Join and support ACC by becoming a 2010 corporate member. For more information on how your organization can join ACC as a corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-222-2373. For membership details, go to http://www.cablecommunicators.org/cmember.php.
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