SILVER SPRING, Md., April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In a White House event this morning, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched a national initiative to support and honor America's service members and their families.
Heeding the challenge set forth by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden, Discovery Communications today announced a national campaign to generate awareness and support for returning troops and America's military families.
Discovery's multi-network and multi-platform contribution to this critical campaign is comprised of Discovery Education, TLC, Military Channel and Discovery's social media division.
"Discovery Communications is deeply committed to supporting and championing the efforts of our nation's troops, veterans and military families – whether it's volunteering locally at Walter Reed Army Medical Center or creating and launching the only network in America dedicated to honoring the U.S. Military," said David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery Communications. "Our gratitude and admiration for the men and women in uniform and their family members is deeply ingrained in the DNA of Discovery and we are proud to join the many public and private organizations to support this tremendous effort."
As part of the initiative's national launch, Jamie Hyneman and Grant Imahara from Discovery Channel's hit series MythBusters will join Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden at a special event on Thursday, April 14, at 10:15 AM at Fountain-Fort Carson High School in Colorado Springs, where military children make up almost half of the student body. The event will highlight the initiative's commitment to produce awareness about the unique challenges military children face, as well as the need for advanced courses and digital content services in math and science at schools serving military children. In addition, Discovery Education is providing Fountain-Fort Carson High School educators with free access to a customized professional development webinar series featuring a unique collection of career video clips, learning activities, and related content that highlight the connections among science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
MythBusters, with its mission to show that science can be fun, informative and inspiring, in collaboration with Discovery Education, is a longstanding partner with the Administration's campaign for STEM awareness. Through Discovery Communications' multi-platform "Be the Future" initiative, MythBusters featured an episode with President Obama in December 2010, helped launch a commercial-free science block for kids on the Science Channel and has related educational content available in Discovery Education streaming.
Launching this spring and continuing throughout the year, campaign elements will come from the following divisions of Discovery Communications:
Discovery Education is the leading provider of high-quality curriculum-based digital content and professional development resources. Available in more than half of U.S. schools, Discovery Education's services support educators nationwide as they transition to using dynamic digital media as their core instructional resource. Discovery Education has pledged:
- High Quality Digital Content to DODEA Schools – Discovery Education, a division of Discovery Communications, will provide through the end of the school year access to its digital content services -- curriculum services scientifically proven to improve student academic achievement, as well as professional development to help DODEA educators integrate digital content/educational technologies into their classrooms.
- Professional Development Support for Educators of Children from Military Families – Supported by Discovery Education, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) is a professional learning community providing educators free professional development resources to improve student academic achievement. To support educators teaching the children of military families, the DEN will make available a variety of specially designed resources, delivered through the latest social networking tools and technologies.
- "Help on the Homefront" Classroom Challenge – Discovery Education will use its presence in over half of all U.S. schools and its expertise in digital learning to launch the Help on the Homefront classroom challenge for children of military families. Students will undertake a project in their community to improve and enrich the lives of military families. Once the projects are complete, students will tell their story to soldiers on the front using a variety of digital content and story-telling tools. Videos will be shared with servicemen and women overseas and may be profiled on-air and online.
- Representation on Discovery Education's Student Advisory Board – Composed of high school students nationwide, the Discovery Education Student Advisory Board provides valuable student input on the direction of services to support teaching and learning. Recognizing their unique perspective on classroom instruction, Discovery Education is reserving 10 percent of Student Advisory Panel seats for the children of military service families.
TLC is a top 10 network for women that celebrates extraordinary people and relatable life moments. TLC has committed to a:
- Special Program Presentation – TLC will film a special episode of the hit series What Not to Wear featuring a military spouse who is trying to prepare for job interviews to re-enter the workforce. The episode will be supported by special messages from the hosts of the series and will provide resource information about employment and career development opportunities for veterans and their spouses.
Military Channel is the only 24/7 network devoted exclusively to honoring and recognizing the U.S. Military. To support the White House initiative to its audience of veterans and military supporters, Military Channel will create the following:
- PSA Campaign – Film an original PSA, in coordination with Skills for America's Future, focused on expanding employment and career development opportunities for veterans and their spouses. Spot will be featured on-air and Military.Discovery.com.
- "Officer and a Movie" – Weave commentary/resource information about the importance of supporting military families into the host wraps for the movies. Lou Diamond Phillips hosts each week and interviews officers who comment on the themes and battles portrayed in each film.
- "Send a Salute" – User-generated and Military Channel-generated crawls on-air emphasizing the importance of supporting military families. Companion social media campaign created to broaden reach of Salutes, including through the network's Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Channel, email newsletter and content hosting on Military.Discovery.com.
Discovery Social Media
Extending the Discovery Communications reach beyond Military Channel's social media properties, its sister networks will amplify the call to action across Facebook and Twitter – with a potential audience of approximately 10 million U.S.-based fans on Facebook and more than 1.5 million Twitter followers. Additionally, Discovery Communications will leverage its corporate website, company blog, corporate Twitter account and blogger outreach to reach media, business partners and fans.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 180 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Investigation Discovery, Planet Green and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
SOURCE Discovery Communications