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Six Flags and Discovery Education Partner to Inspire K-6 Students to Engage in Recreational Reading

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-2893
stephen_wakefield@discovery.com

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

Sandra Daniels
972-595-5178
sdaniels@sftp.com

— “Read to Succeed” Program Celebrates The Power of Reading Through Virtual Classroom Reading Clubs —

— Students and Teachers Rewarded with Free Admission Ticket to Six Flags Theme Parks —

Silver Spring, Md. (Nov. 9, 2010) – Students in grades K-6 will have more reasons than ever to engage in recreational reading activities in the coming year thanks to the Read to Succeed educational program, and a new partnership between Six Flags and Discovery Education . Read to Succeed is a free educational program created by Six Flags to inspire K-6 students to engage in recreational reading. Students who complete six hours of recreational, nonschool-related reading are eligible to earn a free admission ticket to a participating Six Flags branded theme park; teachers whose classes participate and complete the program are also eligible to earn a free ticket.

The Read to Succeed program, which began 20 years ago, distributed 1.7 million tickets nationwide in approximately 11,000 schools in 2010. Eligible reading materials include picture books, newspapers, comic books, novels, and nonfiction materials. Parents are encouraged to support these types of recreational reading at home and help their children keep track of their time.

To supplement the program, teachers will be provided with suggested reading lists, multimedia resources and cross-curricular classroom lessons relating to the topics and themes found in such children’s classics as Little House on the Prairie to increase student engagement and encourage reading across all core subject areas. In addition, parents are invited to participate in the book explorations with connecting at-home family activities.

“Some children need that little extra push to discover a love of reading,” said Joyce Kasman Valenza, Ph.D., library information specialist, Springfield Township High School . “The Read to Succeed program recognizes what research tells us – the importance of choice in developing that love and that an enjoyment of reading can and should happen across the content areas and in a glorious variety of media.”

Beginning in January 2011, the website will feature enhanced teacher dashboard functionality, allowing educators to create a virtual classroom reading club and manage student hours completely online via a secure, easy-to-use web interface.

“Creating unique learning opportunities for students and their families is a top priority for Discovery Education,” said Mary Rollins, Discovery Education vice president of educational partnerships. “This new relationship with Six Flags provides a platform for students to get excited about reading while promoting quality family time.”

“Teachers, students and parents have enjoyed the Read to Succeed Program for many years, “ said Kristen Chung, Six Flags program manager. “We are excited to partner with Discovery Education this year to expand the program as we reach new schools and students nationwide, and continue to foster for them a life-long love of reading.”

For more information or to register for the Read to Succeed program, visit https://www.discoveryeducation.com/readtosucceed .

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 Six Flags
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is a leading operator of regional theme parks with 19 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. Six Flags Over Texas, the company’s flagship location, was founded in 1961 and will mark its 50th anniversary season in 2011.

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3M and Discovery Education Launch Interactive Web Portal for Families and Teachers Celebrating the Science of Everyday Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-2893
stephen_wakefield@discovery.com

Glenn Carter, 3M
651-737-0687
gacarter1@mmm.com

– New Online Resource Encourages Science Learning in all of Life’s Laboratories: Home, Classroom and Community –

Silver Spring, Md. (Nov. 4, 2010) – Innovation Company 3M and Discovery Education today announce a new enhancement to partnership efforts focused on opening young minds to the wonders of science with a unique online resource center, Science of Everyday Life. A powerful year-round online destination, Science of Everyday Life provides teachers, parents and students with a fun and interactive platform to explore the surprising and important role that science plays in our daily lives.

Through 3M’s power of innovation and Discovery Education’s engaging digital content and curricula, Science of Everyday Life introduces a new opportunity for fun and creative learning with family activities and interactive tools designed to encourage exploration and engagement with the science that is part of the most relevant “laboratories” in our world – our homes, classrooms and communities.

“The opportunity to encourage and nurture interest in science and innovation among today’s students carries great meaning for the future of our society,” said Bob MacDonald, president, 3M Foundation. “This collaboration allows us to build awareness of the science that is all around us and transfer the excitement behind the spirit of innovation that we live everyday at 3M.”

Science of Everyday Life provides content to empower teachers and engage families and students including:

  • An “Innovation Headquarters” showcasing innovations from yesterday to today through brain teasers, virtual labs and an interactive timeline.
  • Unique inquiry-based lessons, aligned to national standards, addressing key areas of science and the technology and innovation behind them.
  • School-to-home family activities encouraging students to discover the real-world science around them and make connections to what they are learning in school.
  • In addition, educators can interact with colleagues on the Science of Every Day Life blog and enter a monthly sweepstakes for a chance to win an assortment of innovative products and school supplies from 3M.

    “Discovery Education continues to respond to the changing way America’s students learn, creating engaging, media-rich programs that mirror the way students interact with the world and developing high-quality multimedia resources in easy-to-use formats across all core-curricular subject areas to reach students in their digital environment” said Mary Rollins, vice president, corporate education partnerships, Discovery Education. “We are once again thrilled to partner with 3M to provide teachers, students and parents with a variety of free resources designed to engage and improve student achievement in science.”

    3M and Discovery Education are long-time partners on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the nation’s premier science competition for middle school students. Last month, the innovation and media partners awarded Liam McCarty of Elm Grove, Wis., with the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” for his innovative wound closure system that better protects deep cuts. McCarty was one of 10 finalists who competed in a series of live science challenges in New York City.

    For more information, visit www.scienceofeverydaylife.com

    About 3M
    A recognized leader in research and development, 3M produces thousands of innovative products for dozens of diverse markets. 3M’s core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms – often in combination – to a wide array of customer needs. With $23 billion in sales, 3M employs 75,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. For more information, visit www.3m.com or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

    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.

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    Detroit Public Schools Begins Transition to Digital Curriculum through Expanded Partnership with Discovery Education

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contacts:
    Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
    240-662-2893
    stephen_wakefield@discovery.com

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

    – Successful summer science program expanding to all district 6-12 grade science teachers –

    Silver Spring, Md. (Nov. 2, 2010) – Building on a successful summer program growing student engagement in science and supporting teacher growth with targeted professional development, Detroit Public Schools (DPS) has begun the transition to a digital curriculum through an expanded partnership with Discovery Education.

    This announcement was made last week during an interactive assembly for students at Detroit Public Schools’ Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School featuring Animal Planet and Discovery Channel big cat expert Dave Salmoni. Discovery Education, a division of Discovery Communication whose networks include Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, is the leading provider of high-quality curriculum-based digital content and professional development resources available in more than half of U.S. schools.

    This summer, approximately 200 educators across Detroit Public Schools participated in an intensive professional development initiative, called the Summer Science Program, which helped teachers develop summer school units that integrate Discovery Education digital content into the curriculum for high school science classes. Participating teachers learned how to align digital resources to curriculum and how to integrate streaming content into new and existing lesson plans. This effort kicked-off with a two day “boot camp” to accelerate the learning, then included additional professional development that featured model lesson demonstrations.

    “Academic rebirth is a cornerstone of Detroit Public School’s master facilities plan,” said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, DPS chief academic and accountability auditor. “The process of rebirth includes changing the way we engage students in learning. Student’s today are different. They inhabit a digital world. The partnership that created the Summer Science Program showed us that Discovery Education understands this and can provide the resources to both engage our students in learning and develop our human capital, so that we can evolve our curriculum and methods of instruction to meet the changing needs of 21st century learners.”

    Based on the positive evaluation of the Summer Science Program, DPS is expanding its relationship with Discovery Education. Through this new agreement, Discovery Education is providing 6-12 grade science teachers district-wide access to dynamic digital content.

    The core of the partnership includes digital content from Discovery Education streaming and Discovery Education Science. Aligned to Michigan academic standards and assessments, Discovery Education streaming is searchable by keyword, content area and grade level. Empowering educators to quickly locate and employ a variety of dynamic multimedia resources to engage students in science, Discovery Education Science propels the district’s science curriculum with standards-based virtual labs, simulations, video clips, and reading passages, and encourages student exploration and stimulates critical thinking.

    In addition to providing digital content, Discovery Education’s professional development team is providing instruction to 6-12 grade science teachers to show them how to integrate the new digital content into district curriculum, and build new or adapt existing lesson plans to incorporate digital content. This professional development is jump-started with immersive sessions that will provide participants with the necessary technical skills to use the digital resources and corresponding technologies in their classroom instruction. In addition, these initial sessions show educators how to create a series of integrated lesson plans that include non-linear multimedia and standards-based multimedia presentations to facilitate engaging direct and differentiated instruction.

    Follow-up professional development opportunities will support and mentor DPS educators as they continue to develop cross-curricular lessons that include digital content for use in large groups and differentiated instruction. Throughout the entire implementation, Discovery Education will provide consistent evaluation of the program, which will both shape the continued implementation of the program as well as the next steps for the district.

    “At DPS, we ask ourselves each day ‘Is it good for the kids?’” said Sherry Ulery, DPS deputy chief of academic affairs. “After witnessing the growth of our teaching staff this summer and the positive impact our efforts to incorporate digital content into our curriculum has had on student engagement, I can say that this initial step towards a digital curriculum is good for the kids.”

    Following the conclusion of the professional development component of the partnership, Discovery Education will continue to build capacity and to support educators in DPS with one of the nation’s largest professional learning communities, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN). Through the DEN, educators have access to a wide range of technology training as well as a resource library of teacher-generated projects and tools.

    For more information about Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

    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.

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