CIC Launches National Educational Awards Program

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New Orleans -- Cable in the Classroom is launching a national awards program recognizing those who have created and implemented innovative educational initiatives.

All told, one-dozen people will be honored under “Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards: Vision, Innovation, Action, Transformation,” the online-application process for which will begin this fall.

A panel of 10 judges -- including Linda Hodge, president of the National PTA, and CIC executive director Peggy O’Brien -- will select the winners, who will be honored in Washington, D.C., next May.

O’Brien, speaking at a press conference at the National Show here Monday, said the program would honor achievements in enhancing media-literacy skills, technology in the classroom and educational efforts at the policymaking level. On the cable side, she said those with “vision and sparked innovation” would be saluted at the ceremony.

Nick Davatkes, president and CEO of A&E Television Networks and CIC co-chairman, said the cable industry has committed some $500 million worth of value behind the educational initiative, which is now in its 15th year.

He anticipated that the 40 programmers actively involved in CIC will run public-service announcements and deliver online messaging.

Bob Miron, chairman and CEO of Advance/Newhouse Communications and CIC co-chairman, said Bright House Networks would use PSAs and the Web sites to “the best of our ability” to convey the news.

“It shows the growth of CIC over the years both in the classroom and beyond,” Miron said, noting that the awards can extend into other realms where cable has made a difference: day-care venues, senior-citizen centers and after-school programs.

U.S Secretary of Education Roderick Paige, at the National Show for a policy breakfast Tuesday, praised CIC’s ongoing efforts.

“Cable in the Classroom is an exciting program, and we’re grateful for the industry’s corporate citizenship,” Paige said. “The challenge now is taking the technology and using it in more innovative ways to benefit communities.”

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