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NEWS RELEASES 2000-01 :: MAY 11, 2001


A unique partnership has been formed between the Public Schools of North Carolina and the North Carolina Press Association to provide information for parents. Through this effort, a series of five tabloids will be produced and shared with newspapers around the state. Making the Grade is the title for the series.

The partnership was started in 1999 when the Newspapers in Education program of the North Carolina Press Foundation, a part of the Press Association, joined with the Department of Public Instruction and State Board of Education to reach parents with information about the new Student Accountability Standards. A tabloid, entitled Making the Grade (pdf, 749kb), was produced on CD and sent to newspapers for their reproduction. Many newspapers ran the tabloid as a service to help parents learn about the standards. This latest effort is an extension of that project.

State Board of Education Chairman Phil Kirk called this "an exciting project" and a great way to leverage resources to get information out to a very large audience. "This effort taps into a medium that many parents already turn to for information. We sincerely appreciate the Press Association and its members across the state for their assistance."

Teri Saylor, Executive Director of the Press Association, said, "The North Carolina newspaper industry's NIE program is one of the best in the country. Our newspapers win national awards for their excellent efforts in getting newspapers into the hands of teachers, students and their families. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Department of Public Instruction in this state for its support, guidance, and cooperation."

Reaching parents, according to State Superintendent Mike Ward, is a big challenge, particularly in tight budget times. "There is so much that parents can do to support the work of teachers. Many parents just need more information on what they can do to support learning. Thanks to Newspapers in Education and local sponsors, we will now be able to reach a much broader audience. I encourage all newspapers to publish these tabloids," Ward said.

Bill Horner, publisher of the Sanford Herald and vice president of the Press Foundation; Sandra Cook, Newspapers in Education coordinator for the Press Foundation; and Saylor presented information on the Making the Grade project to the State Board of Education at its May 3 meeting.

The first of the Making the Grade series, on Helping Children Continue to Learn during the summer was recently sent to newspapers for their use. Other publications in the series will provide information for parents to help their children with reading, mathematics, writing and preparing for the exit exam.

For more information, please contact Sandra Cook, NC Press Foundation, at 919.789.2091 or Kay Williams, Department of Public Instruction, at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.