July 27, 2001

The Advertising Council, People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF), the NAACP, and the Eastman Kodak Company launched a three-year national advertising campaign in Washington D.C. to encourage African American and Hispanic parents to become more involved in their children's education.

Peggy Conlon, the Ad Council president and CEO, joined Ralph G. Neas, People For the American Way Foundation president, Kweisi Mfume, NAACP president and CEO, and Daniel Carp, Eastman Kodak Company chairman and CEO, to present the new public service ads at the National Press Club this morning.

Backed by recent studies revealing that parental involvement has a major impact on the success of their child's education, the public service advertising campaign communicates the critical role of parents, and encourages African American and Hispanic parents to become involved in their child's educational experience. The campaign is expected to reach 25,000 media outlets nationwide and will carry the theme of "Success in School Equals Success in Life."

"The education of our children is of paramount concern to the American people and our research consistently indicates that the best way to improve a child's education is through greater parental involvement," said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of The Advertising Council. "With this campaign, the Ad Council welcomes the opportunity to encourage African American and Hispanic parents to become more involved and maximize their child's education. We know that the media community is equally committed to helping parents and are confident that they will support the campaign with significant pro-bono resources."

Released in time for the back-to-school season, the Partners for Public Education campaign was created by volunteer ad agency UniWorld Group, Inc., and generously underwritten by Eastman Kodak Company.

"The NAACP is committed to enhancing the nation's public school systems. We believe that parents have a right to expect a quality public education for their children," Kweisi Mfume, NAACP President and CEO said. " In joining forces with our partners at PFAW, the NAACP through this ad campaign champions that right. We want to empower even more parents by showing the importance of parental involvement at all levels of their child's education."

In the TV PSA "Cheers," the viewer sees what appears to be the last seconds of a junior high school basketball game. The crowd is cheering, the clock is ticking, two parents jump out of their seats and the camera closes in on who the audience believes is a player about to take a shot. Then the camera pans out and we see that he is really doing a math problem, and that the crowd and his parents are cheering for him to finish it correctly, sending the message that parents should cheer for academic success as loudly as they would for athletic success. The TV PSA "Mother Tongue" takes a slightly different approach, depicting a parent-teacher conference between a Spanish-speaking mother and an English-speaking teacher. While the son acts as a translator, his mother asks how she can help her son with his homework, and the teacher answers that by coming down to the school she is already helping.

PSAs for the Partners for Public Education campaign are also available in radio, print, Web, and outdoor formats. Each PSA directs the audience to visit the Web site, http://www.schoolsuccessinfo.org

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