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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 04.13.11

Contacts:

Juliet Farrell, Discovery Education
240.461.1745
julietgfarrell@gmail.com

Emily Embury, C. Blohm & Associates
608-839-9800
emily@cblohm.com


Discovery Education Answers White House Call to Support Education for Children of Military Families

--Discovery Education and Discovery Communications’ Networks Heed Call to Build Awareness for Military Family Support With Broad Based Efforts In-Schools, On-Air and Online--

--MythBusters` Jamie and Grant to Join Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden in Colorado This Thursday for Special Event Showcasing the Initiative’s Commitment to Education for Military Children--

(Silver Spring, Md) -- 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 Education announced today 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, which is featured in Discovery Education’s school services, 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.

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 offers related educational content through Discovery Education’s school services.

Launching this spring and continuing throughout the year, Discovery Education has pledged the following in support of the White House Initiative:

  • 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.
  • “With the tremendous sacrifices that today`s military families make to protect and serve our country, we take seriously our responsibility to support them and their children with access to the best digital educational resources possible,” said Bill Goodwyn, CEO, Discovery Education and President, Global Distribution. “Discovery Education is proud to be a partner on this important initiative by bringing our high-quality, curriculum-based digital content and professional development resources to DODEA schools and teachers and by building a national community of support among students across the country through the Help on the Homefront Classroom Challenge.”

    In addition, Discovery’s networks and social media divisions will support military families through a series of initiatives including the following:

  • TLC has committed to provide resource information about employment and career development opportunities for veterans and their spouses, filming 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.

  • Military Channel, the only 24/7 network devoted exclusively to honoring and recognizing the U.S. Military, will create an original PSA campaign in coordination with Skills for America’s Future, focused on expanding employment and career development opportunities for veterans and their spouses; air special host wraps during the “Officer and a Movie” programming block hosted by Lou Diamond Phillips and featuring commentary and resource information about the importance of supporting military families; and run “Send a Salute” user-generated and Military Channel-generated crawls on air, online and through social media emphasizing importance of supporting military families.

  • Extending 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 Education
    Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

    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.

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