Alexandria, VA ---- Cable in the Classroom has revised plans for this year’s annual Take Charge of Your TV Week initiative (October 21-27) to take into account the events of September 11th. New tools for systems to use in reaching out to families and educators are available to cable systems at www.ciconline.com ( click on Family Zone).

"In these difficult times, the core message of Taking Charge of Your TV is more relevant than ever. Parents and teachers are looking for ways to help children cope with and understand disturbing, complex media images and messages," said Dr. Peggy O’Brien, Executive Director of Cable in the Classroom.

The new online tools include information on how systems’ current Taking Charge of Your TV workshop can incorporate strategies that help families deal with media reports of tragedies and disasters. An article, written by child development expert Becky Bailey, and a list of special resources about coping with terrorism and crisis can be used by systems to help support educators, parents and other community groups.

Court TV’s special program, Mind over Media: Voices from the Middle School (airing October 22nd at noon ET) will kick off Take Charge of Your TV Week. Mind Over Media explores how media literacy skills can help students, teachers and families deal with complicated issues like media violence. Special program guests include PTA President Shirley Igo and US Secretary of Education Rod Paige.

Once a year, the National PTA and the cable industry designate one week in October as Take Charge of Your TV Week, to promote responsible TV viewing and draw attention to media literacy. During Take Charge of Your TV Week, free tools and training are made available to families through local cable companies and PTAs. The week is an opportunity to show parents how they can take positive and proactive steps to "take charge" of their family's TV viewing. This is the fourth annual Take Charge celebration.

Cable in the Classroom represents a contribution of $100 million a year in resources by the cable industry to collaborate with teachers, students and schools. More than 8,500 local cable companies provide free cable hook ups and free monthly service to 81,000 schools, reaching 44 million students. More than 500 hours of educational, commercial-free programming and a wide range of online resources are provided by 40 cable networks each month. Through cable’s High Speed Education Connection, local cable companies provide free, cable high-speed Internet hook ups to state accredited K-12 schools and libraries in communities where broadband service is available. In addition to providing programming and online resources, Cable in the Classroom, via its Professional Development Institute, collaborates with educators and other adults on the effective uses of technology www.ciconline.org.

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