Media Enter War on Illiteracy

By Lynn Olson — October 01, 1986 1 min read

In recent months, the media have joined local efforts in the battle against illiteracy.

ABC and the Public Broadcasting Service have organized a nationwide campaign, known as Project Literacy U.S., or PLUS.

Starting last month, and for the rest of the 1986-87 television season, network affiliates and public television and radio stations will broadcast literacy-related news and entertainment programs and public-service announcements.

Since January, affiliated stations have been working with some 100 national groups and more than 300 coalitions of business and community groups to increase literacy efforts at the local level.

The Scripps Howard Foundation has established its own award to recognize outstanding literacy programs.

The $2,500 Charles E. Scripps Award, in honor of the chairman of the board, Will be given each year to the newspaper or broadcast station that best promotes literacy in its community.

In addition, the foundation will donate a $5,000 grant to a literacy project in the community served by the winner. The foundation announced the award last month.

Also last month, the Gannett Foundation and USA Today announced a $2-million, two-year program to bolster adult-literacy efforts at the state level.

Called the Literacy Challenge, the program will support proposals to launch or expand statewide literacy coalitions or organizations with grants of$40,000 to $100,000.

Last year, as part of its 50th Anniversary Literacy Project, the foundation made a series of grants totaling $614,000 to assist community- based tutoring programs.

This year, the foundation awarded an additional $500,000 to grassroots programs and for special literacy projects involving the use of computers and video-based training for literacy groups.

A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 1986 edition of Education Week as Media Enter War on Illiteracy