Families & the Community

Black, Hispanic Parents Urged To Support Education

By Karla Scoon Reid — September 05, 2001 2 min read
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A multimillion-dollar national media campaign will try to enlist more African-American and Hispanic parents in a grassroots effort to improve their children’s classroom success.

The campaign, which began this month, involves a high-powered coalition including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the People for the American Way Foundation, the Eastman Kodak Co., and the Advertising Council. The group, which notes that minority students often earn lower test scores than their white classmates, wants to empower African-American and Hispanic parents with the know-how to exert a positive effect on their children’s education.

“Success in Schools Equals Success in Life,” as the three-year campaign is called, will feature public-service advertisements on television and radio, along with ads in print and on billboards, kiosks, and at mass-transit facilities. Advertisements will appear in both English and Spanish.

A Web site, www.SchoolSuccessInfo.org, has been launched to support the “Success in Schools” effort and provide parents with tips on how to become partners in their children’s schooling. Parents can also call a toll-free number for more information: (800) 281-1313. A free booklet detailing advice for parents is available as well.

Calling education “the number-one issue facing our country,” Kweisi Mfume, the president and chief executive officer of the NAACP, said parents need help in managing their time better.

Changing Families

During a news conference at the National Press Club here last month, he said the campaign would recognize that the nation has far fewer “Ozzie and Harriet families” than it once did, and would use traditional and nontraditional approaches to urge black and Hispanic parents to work alongside their children.

The coalition will hold parent workshops and back-to-school rallies nationwide. In addition, the NAACP will name parent-education liaisons in about 100 cities to give parents guidance and information about their children’s schools.

Daniel A. Carp, the chairman and CEO of Eastman Kodak, said the United States must take advantage of its racial and ethnic diversity from the classroom to the boardroom. Leaving a segment of the population behind would be “relegating ourselves to second place,” he added.

The Advertising Council hopes to make this new campaign as successful and long-running as the 30-year-old United Negro College Fund effort, which has raised $1.8 billion in scholarships for students to attend historically black colleges and universities, said Peggy Conlon, the president and CEO of the council.

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