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MTV Announces October as Education Month, Empowering Students to Prepare Themselves for High School and College Success

Leading Into A Month of Education-Related Elements On- & Off-Air, "THINK Over Your School" Premieres September 29 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT

Boost Mobile RockCorps Rewards Student Volunteers with Concert Featuring Some of Today's Hottest Artists

NEW YORK, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- MTV: Music Television today announced the launch of October as "Education Month" to encourage and empower young people with the tools they need to graduate from high school ready for college and work. The network's think MTV: EDUCATION initiative, which is in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is being highlighted on- air every day in October, featuring long-form shows, PSAs, MTV News segments and other programming.

To lead into the effort, MTV will premiere THINK OVER YOUR SCHOOL on September 29th at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. With the help of MTV, designers, and their principals, and in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, a group of Brooklyn, NY, students "THINK over" their lunchroom by transforming the space into a multi-purpose resource to support students' academic and creative endeavors. The lunchroom at the Bushwick campus, which is home to four schools, now offers flexible spaces that can be used by all students for dining, student artwork, performances, meetings, and small group work. In addition, the space now includes new technology tools including digital projectors, computer stations, and sound domes.

The think MTV: EDUCATION initiative responds to recent statistics on the state of education in America*. According to the Manhattan Institute, nearly three of ten public school students, and almost half of all African-American and Latino youth, do not graduate from high school. While most students aspire to attend college, only about two-fifths will make it there prepared for college-level work.

"It's important that we all recognize the alarmingly low high school graduation rates among American students, and particularly minority youth," commented Ian Rowe, VP of Strategic Partnerships & Public Affairs for MTV. "The vast majority of young people want to, and believe they can, go to college. We wanted to tell the story of a group of young people who worked with their teachers and principal to shape their own academic experience and environment."

Schools like those located on the Bushwick campus are part of a nationwide effort to help more students graduate ready for the future. Effective high schools feature the new 3R's: rigorous college-preparatory courses, meaningful relationships between teachers and students, and relevant hands-on learning that links the classroom to the real world.

"Today, young people need the same skills for success in college and our knowledge-based economy," said Tom Vander Ark, executive director of education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "With MTV's help, we can empower young people to stand up for their right to a high-quality education that prepares them for success in college and work."

Boost Mobile RockCorps worked with MTV to "THINK over" the lunchroom on the Bushwick Campus. Every student who volunteered at least four hours in transforming their school earned a ticket to the Boost Mobile RockCorps concert on September 24th at Radio City Music Hall, hosted by Lil Jon and featuring the some of the hottest names in hip-hop: T.I., Fat Joe, Young Jeezy and more. Boost Mobile RockCorps encourages volunteerism in young people by offering concert tickets in exchange for four hours of volunteer work with a non-profit partner.

Throughout October, think MTV: EDUCATION will be featured prominently on- and off-air including new set of PSAs featuring high school students talking candidly about their aspirations for college and beyond; MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway heading back to class as a participant in Teach For America Week 2005, an annual event during which leaders from all walks of life spend an hour of their time teaching children from some of our nation's lowest-income communities; an encore presentation of MY LIFE (TRANSLATED): COLLEGE DREAMS which follows MTV News correspondent SuChin Pak as she meets second-generation American kids and learns how their college dreams may conflict with their families' cultural expectations (October 1 at 11 a.m. ET/PT); MTV News reports on young people and their educational aspirations; and online tools at http://think.mtv.com/, including resources to prepare themselves for graduation, college, and the workplace.

think MTV: EDUCATION is part of the network's think MTV pro-social initiative, which dedicated to the issues that young people care about most. A think MTV icon appears onscreen during programming that has an online counterpart; think.MTV.com offers a range of opportunities for young people to learn about and engage on critical issues at the local or national level. On every page within the site, young people can search for local volunteer opportunities, contact their political representatives, and register to vote. Additional online partners include a range of non-profit organizations that aim to inform and motivate young people to get involved in issues of concern.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (http://www.gatesfoundation.org/) works to promote greater equity in four areas: global health, education, public libraries, and support for at-risk families in Washington state and Oregon. The Seattle-based foundation joins local, national, and international partners to ensure that advances in these areas reach those who need them most. The foundation is led by Bill Gates's father, William H. Gates, Sr., and Patty Stonesifer.

RockCorps, an organization that introduces teens and young adults to volunteerism, and Boost Mobile, a wireless telecommunications brand dedicated to boosting the lives of today's youth, have partnered to launch Boost Mobile RockCorps, a groundbreaking national extension of the RockCorps program. Combining the power of music, community and volunteerism to breed a new generation of volunteers, the partnership is exposing young people to simple ways they can proactively contribute to their community. In exchange for contributing four hours of community service work, youth volunteers receive tickets to popular music concerts in their area.

MTV Networks owns and operates the cable television programming services MTV: Music Television, MTV2, mtvU, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, TV Land, VH1, CMT: Country Music Television, and Spike TV, as well as The Digital Suite from MTV Networks, a package of thirteen digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.

* Graduation rates: Greene, Jay P. and Winters, Marcus (2005). Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates: 1991-2002. Education Working Paper No. 8. NY: Center for Civic Innovation at the Manhattan Institute.

College aspirations: National Center for Education Statistics (2005). A Profile of the American High School Sophomore in 2002: Initial Results from the Base Year of the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (NCES 2005-338). By Ingels, S.J., Burns, L.J., Chen, X., Cataldi, E.F., and Charleston, S. DC: U.S. Department of Education.

Remediation: National Center for Education Statistics (2003). Remedial Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions in Fall 2000, NCES 2004-010, by Basmat Parsad and Laurie Lewis. DC: U.S. Department of Education

Source: MTV

CONTACT: Janine Iamunno, +1-212-846-6992, janine.iamunno@mtvstaff.com,
or Jennifer DeGuzman, +1-212-846-7175, jennifer.deguzman@mtvstaff.com, both of
MTV Communications, or Lindsey Schiff-Abrams of MTV Networks Communications,
+1-310-752-8082, lindsey.schiff-abrams@mtvstaff.com; or Ariana Urbont of MTV
Networks, +1-310-752-8079, ariana.urbont@mtvstaff.com

Web site: http://www.mtv.com/

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