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Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...


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Friday, May 30, 2014

CANCELED: Arsenio Hall ends again

buzzz worthy. . .




The Arsenio Hall show has been canceled after one season.  The late night talk show host was unable to return the show to its 1990's glory. Hall was given a second chance after spending nearly 20 years off air, but not a second season to build its audience.  CBS planned to run the program for a second season, but local stations were pushing it into later time slots and ratings were already low according the the Associate Press.   In a statement Hall said"I'm gratified for the year we've had and proud of the show we created," the actor and comedian added.

There was no dearth of late night shows on network or cable television when Hall returned to the television market.  Fallon, Kimmel, Stewart, Colbert (although is leaving to fill the "Late Show" slot on CBS next year) all had loyal followers.  So did Hall, but he did not have enough of them.  The Arsenio Hall Show had difficulty competing with those hosts and making up for lost time. 

“Unfortunately, The Arsenio Hall Show will not return for a second season; while there are many loyal fans of the show, the series did not grow its audience enough to continue," CBSTVD said in a statement Friday. "Arsenio is a tremendous talent and we’d like to thank him for all the hard work and energy he put into the show. We’d also like to thank Tribune and all our station group partners for their support of the show.”

As the Associate Press noted, "the cancellation of Hall's show returns the late-night talk show scene to almost uniformly white male hosts, with a few exceptions such as Tavis Smiley on PBS."


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Pres. Obama Proclaims June 2014 as Black Music Month

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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release May 30, 2014
AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC APPRECIATION MONTH, 2014
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
Our country is home to a proud legacy of African-American musicians whose songs transcend genre. They make us move, make us think, and make us feel the full range of emotion -- from the pain of isolation to the power of human connection. During African-American Music Appreciation Month, we celebrate artists whose works both tell and shape our Nation's story.
For centuries, African-American music has lifted the voices of those whose poetry is born from struggle. As generations of slaves toiled in the most brutal of conditions, they joined their voices in faithful chords that both captured the depths of their sorrow and wove visions of a brighter day. At a time when dance floors were divided, rhythm and blues and rock and roll helped bring us together. And as activists marched for their civil rights, they faced hatred with song. Theirs was a movement with a soundtrack -- spirituals that fed their souls and protest songs that sharpened their desire to right the great wrongs of their time.
The influence of African-American artists resounds each day through symphony halls, church sanctuaries, music studios, and vast arenas. It fills us with inspiration and calls us to action. This month, as we honor the history of African-American music, let it continue to give us hope and carry us forward -- as one people and one Nation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2014 as African-American Music Appreciation Month. I call upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs that raise awareness and foster appreciation of music that is composed, arranged, or performed by African Americans.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirtieth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
BARACK OBAMA
# # #
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Thursday, May 29, 2014

NAS to kick off 20th Anniversary of the Essence Festival

buzzz worthy. . .

Rapper NAS will get the party started at the ESSENCE Festival in the New Orleans Superdome on July 3.  This yer marks the 20th anniversary of te culturally rich inspiration festival that supports Black Women's empowerment.  The celebration takes place on July 3-6, 2014 in New Orleans, LA.
Over the past two decades, "...the Festival has become one of the most important forums for non hip-hop black music and culture," as reported by the New York TimesThis year's milestone 4-day celebration will feature both world-renowned and up-and-coming performing acts, as well as the country's top speakers, authors, leaders, innovators and celebrities – who will come together to entertain, excite, engage, inform and inspire the Festival community of more than 543,000.
  • The Superdome Mainstage performers will include powerhouses Prince (previously announced), Lionel RichieMary J. BligeJill ScottErykah Badu, Ledisi and Charlie Wilson.
  • The intimate Superlounge stages will feature eclectic crowd-pleasers such as: 112, Amel Larrieux, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Doug E Fresh, Elle Varner, Eve, King, Kourtney HeartLeela JamesLiv WarfieldMarsha Ambrosius, Naughty by Nature, PJ Morton, Raheem Davaughn, Robert GlasperSebastian MikaelSevyn StreeterStephanie Mills and TheOriginal Pinettes Brass Band.
  • The daytime Essence Empowerment Experience stage will feature influential leaders and personalities including Rev. Al SharptonSteve Harvey, and Iyanla Vanzant, who is offering a group transformation to lucky winners of a contest launched in the January 2014 issue of Essence magazine. 
  • Plus, attendees will get lifted during an all-star gospel tribute to illustrious vocalist Yolanda Adams, hosted by legendaryPastor Donnie McClurkin.
  • The Mainstage host each night will be comedian Nephew Tommy.
  • *More performing acts and speakers to be announced soon.  To purchase tickets, get more exciting news, talent and program updates go to www.essencefestival.com
Last year, the ESSENCE Festival saw record-breaking numbers as fans spent the Fourth of July weekend enjoying the annual event's mix of exciting newcomers and cherished Festival favorites. In describing the annual event, Billboard magazine stated: "Not many festivals break attendance records in their 19th year. But then, most festivals aren't ESSENCE which saw a record 540,000 people attend four days of programming in New Orleans."
For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE FESTIVAL, visit ESSENCE Festival www.essencefestival.com, join the Festival community: follow us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2014 ESSENCE Festival on Facebook.
Sponsors of the 2014 ESSENCE Festival include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors State Farm and Verizon.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Statement by the President on the Passing of Maya Angelou

buzzz worthy. . .


Dr. Maya Angelou, Poet Laureate and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedomhas passed away at the age of 86.  The White House released the following statement on her passing form President Obama:

When her friend Nelson Mandela passed away last year, Maya Angelou wrote that “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn.” 

Today, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time – a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.  Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things – an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer.  But above all, she was a storyteller – and her greatest stories were true.  A childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to stop speaking – but the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves.  In fact, she inspired my own mother to name my sister Maya. 

Like so many others, Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya.  With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer.  And while Maya’s day may be done, we take comfort in knowing that her song will continue, “flung up to heaven” – and we celebrate the dawn that Maya Angelou helped bring.

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Re-Coupling: Jagged Edge re-aligns with Jermaine Dupri; new single premieres on Vibe.com on May 30

buzzz worthy. . .
Jagged Edge


JAGGED EDGE TO RELEASE SEQUEL TO MULTI-PLATINUM 
'J.E. HEARTBREAK' THIS FALL
New Single "Hope" to Premiere on VIBE.com May 30

(ATLANTA) - May 28, 2014 - So So Def Recordings and Hard Case Records has announced a new deal with BMG Primary Wave Artists Services to release the multi-platinum-selling group Jagged Edge's eighth studio album, J.E. Heartbreak Too, this fall 2014. The album's lead single, "Hope," will premiere on VIBE.com on Friday, May 30 - just in time for June's Black Music Month.

Written and produced by the group's twin brothers Brian and Brandon Casey along with Grammy-winning songwriter/producer Bryan Michael Cox, "Hope" is a classic R&B throwback to the signature sound on the initial J.E. Heartbreak, which sold over 2 million records in 2000 and spawned the hits "Let's Get Married" and "Promise."

Jermaine Dupri celebrated the 20 year anniversary
of his Atlanta-based label So So Def in 2013.
"Making a sequel to a classic album is difficult," says So So Def CEO Jermaine Dupri, who serves as executive producer on the upcoming LP. "We don't want to stray from the blueprint of the first album. It's definitely a challenge, but the fans won't be disappointed."

Jagged Edge has reunited with Dupri and their original management team - Mauldin Brand Agency - for J.E. Heartbreak Too, which is a joint venture with their own Hard Case Records and So So Def, and is being released by BMG Primary Wave Artists Services.

With over 8 million records sold across 7 studio albums (5 of them gold or multi-platinum), Jagged Edge is one of the most successful R&B groups in music. For nearly two decades, J.E. has issued numerous Top 10 singles under So So Def, including "Let's Get Married," "He Can't Love You," "Promise," "Where the Party At" and "Walked Outta Heaven." The group has won three Billboard Awards, two Soul Train Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Music & Dance Awards and has earned various Grammy, BET, and American Music Award nominations.

Performing since 1996, Jagged Edge has remained together as a unit and is one of the longest-lasting platinum-selling music groups with original members Brian and Brandon CaseyKyle Norman and Richard Wingo.

"We are so excited about our realignment with Jermaine Dupri, So So Def and the Mauldin Brand Agency," said Brandon Casey. "Jermaine has given us the opportunity to launch our own HARD CASE Records with this venture. We are dedicating our first official single 'Hope' to single mothers all across the world."

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Gospel Hip Hop Artist ShySpeaks Set to Release New EP "INVITED"


DALLAS, TX – One of Gospel music’s most anticipated new artist ShySpeaks is ready to hit the stage in celebration of the release of her new EP “INVITED.”  The online concert will feature incredible music by Eshon Burgundy, J. Paul, Sean C. Johnson Amanda Maxfield and an amazing live band with Thaddeus Tribbett.  The online show is June 1, 2014 at 6 p.m. CST at www.stageit.com/SHYSPEAKS .
Inspirational Poet and Hip Hop artist ShySpeaks is a powerful lyricist that isn’t afraid to tackle controversial topics with hyped beats and a smooth flowing delivery.   Her sound is Inspired Hip Hop Soul; it feeds you spiritual wisdom and makes you want to dance at the same time. 
Shy Speaks gets it!  Her sound is refreshing! The 'Invited' EP is a great piece of work.  Her spoken-word pieces are thought provoking and real.  Her songs challenge both logic and love with inescapable musicology and spiritual diction.
I love this EP!  -- Frankie C. Wilson Jr., Inside Gospel Online
 “The lyricism on Invited is ever relevant and very touching." Summing it up in one word "ICY!!!”   -- Jesse Porter, Revolt TV
“ShySpeaks is an incredibly talented artist. Her lyrics are powerful and thought provoking.”  -- Myron Williams, Award Winning Producer and Artist
ShySpeaks new EP INVITED will be available on iTunes June 3, 2014.  INVITED is a true representation of a culture that celebrates thinking and speaking as individuals with values; unafraid to stand for something rather than follow anything.  ShySpeaks is the trusted and relevant "Voice" of a young powerful female with a mission to show herself as an Artist, Activist and Advocate with the talent to deliver a message that provokes thought while keeping the crowds hyped.  Attached please find the first single "Go"
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Ricky Scaggs to appear on INSP Network's Moments

buzzz worthy. . .



In this five-part series, Ricky Skaggs shares his personal reflections on faith and family and how they have impacted his illustrious career.  He talks about how he has used music as a platform to reach people who need hope and encouragement.  And he gives viewers a glimpse into the impact his mother had in shaping his life.

Wholesome entertainment network, INSP produces MOMENTS, an original inspirational video series that celebrate love, faith, valor and other timeless truths in action.  The series, which was conceived as a practical and effective way to deliver hope and encouragement, features everyday Americans, as well as Medal of Honor recipients, and celebrities who include: Corbin Bernsen, Kirk Cameron, Roma Downey, Mark Burnett; and the late Ralph Waite.  Viewers get to see and hear their personal stories in a way that they never have before. 

During June, INSP will air this video series featuring Ricky Skaggs. 

MOMENTS, featuring Ricky Skaggs, will air during the following:

June 3 - 8:00 PM (during The Waltons)

June 5 - 10:00 PM (during Matlock)

June 7 - 8:00 PM (during The Virginian)

June 8 - 4:00 PM (during The Waltons)

June 12 - 2:00 PM (during Little House on the Prairie)

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TUNE IN ALERT: Tonéx opens up in PBS documentary on Black Christian Gays



 buzzz worthy. . .


Controversial singer Tonex (AKA B Slade) has been a chameleon, vaccilating between gospel and R&B, bi-sexual, gay and straight. In an upcoming PBS documentary, "The New Black Church"  he addresses the dichotomy of  his role as a gay minister. After  coming out, the "Make Me Over" artist reinvented himself professionally and seems to be assuming the position of mouth piece for a community that he deems has been silent for far too long -- Black Christian Gays. From the trailer he appears to have gained comfort in going from living and alternative lifestyle to espousing an alternative church. Bishop Yvette Flunder and Bishop Carlton Pearson join the conversation when "The New Black Church" airs on June 15.  Check your local listings for air times.   BACKSTORY: Tonex's Essence Interview


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White House shows commitment to STEM by hosting a science fair

buzzz worthy. . .


President Obama to Host White House Science Fair

Highlights New Commitments to Help More Girls and Boys Succeed in STEM

WASHINGTON, DC -- President Obama will host the 2014 White House Science Fair today and celebrate the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. This year’s Fair will include a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work.  The President will also announce new steps as part of his Educate to Innovate campaign, an all-hands-on-deck effort to get more girls and boys inspired to excel and to provide the support they need to succeed in these in these vital subjects.

Educate to Innovate components being announced today include among others:
·         A new $35 million Department of Education competition, in support of the President’s goal to train 100,000 excellent STEM teachers; 
·         A major expansion of STEM AmeriCorps to provide STEM learning opportunities for 18,000 low-income students this summer;
·         A national STEM mentoring effort kicking off in seven cities, as well as new steps by leading technology and media companies, non-profits and others to connect more students to STEM.

“When students excel in math and science, they’re laying the groundwork for helping America compete for the jobs and industries of the future,” said President Obama. “That’s why I’m proud to celebrate outstanding students at the White House Science Fair, and to announce new steps my Administration and its partners are taking to help more young people succeed in these critical subjects."

Details on the White House Science Fair
The White House Science Fair will feature over 100 students from more than 30 states, representing more than 40 different STEM competitions and organizations that recognize the talents of America’s next generation of scientists, engineers, inventors and innovators. Approximately 30 student teams will have the opportunity to exhibit their projects as part of the Fair.
The President will view exhibits of the students’ work, ranging from breakthrough basic research to new inventions, and deliver remarks to an audience of students, science educators and business leaders on the importance of STEM education to the country’s economic future. 

This year’s Fair includes a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work. Since day one, the President has been committed to getting more underrepresented groups, including women and girls, excited to excel at STEM subjects. For example, in the Administration’s signature education reform initiative, Race to the Top, President Obama granted states competitive preference if they demonstrated efforts to close the STEM gap for girls and other groups that are underrepresented.

The White House Science Fair is a key part of the President’s Educate to Innovate campaign to inspire more girls and boys to excel in STEM subjects. As the President has noted, “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you're a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”

New Steps Being Taken by the Administration in Support of the President’ STEM Education Goals
·         The U.S. Department of Education launches a STEM-Focused Teacher Training Grant Competition to Grow Pathways for Effective STEM Educators: Responding to the President’s goal to prepare 100,000 excellent STEM teachers over the next decade, the U.S. Department of Education is announcing a new round of the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant competition, which includes a focus on STEM teacher preparation. This competition will award approximately $35 million in grants, and grow the portfolio of projects supported by the Department that are investing in STEM teachers. For this competition:

o   Applications that increase opportunities for the preparation and professional development of STEM teachers will receive extra points. Applications may also receive additional points for targeting under-represented groups for STEM teacher preparation and professional development. Applicants are encouraged to incorporate hands-on and field-based experiences into their STEM teacher preparation programs.

o   TQP grants support partnerships among universities, high-need school districts, and schools to develop and execute pre-baccalaureate and residency teacher-training programs. These programs include yearlong clinical experiences, access to mentors, induction support, and professional development for partner districts and stipends. To date, 40 TQP grants have been awarded.

·         A major expansion of STEM AmeriCorps will provide STEM learning opportunities for 18,000 low-income students this summer:  Building on the President’s launch of STEM AmeriCorps at the White House Science Fair last year, the Corporation for National and Community Service today is announcing a major summer AmeriCorps VISTA initiative that includes six Southern states.  These 256 AmeriCorps members will connect approximately 18,000 at-risk students in low-performing schools to STEM opportunities. The AmeriCorps members will serve with community groups, educational institutions, and corporate sponsors that are committed to sharing their expertise to inspire new discovery and increase the students’ chances for academic achievement. This initiative will make it possible for students to learn about and build robots, engage with community members to solve challenging STEM tasks, write code that will be uploaded to the International Space Station, participate in a “scientist-for-a-day” program that explores various careers, and learn about food production. This AmeriCorps VISTA project, which expands access to STEM education through national service, is one part of the overall STEM AmeriCorps effort. Other STEM AmeriCorps initiatives include partnerships with FIRST Robotics, US2020, Maker Education Initiative, Citizen Schools, Teach for America, and other organizations – efforts collectively reaching tens of thousands of students engaging in STEM learning.

New Partners Stepping Up in Response to the President’s Call to Action
·         Working with US2020, Seven Cities to Launch STEM Mentoring Efforts: Led by US2020, seven American cities are launching new campaigns this year to connect passionate STEM employees from local companies to students in their region, including: Allentown, PA; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN;  Research Triangle Park, NC; Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco, CA; and Wichita, KS. Sponsored by Cisco and launched at last year’s White House Science Fair, the US2020 City Competition challenged cities to develop innovative models for scaling STEM mentorship for young students in STEM, particularly for girls, underrepresented minorities and children from low-income families.  These seven cities – the winners from more than 50 competing cities – assembled city-wide STEM mentoring plans and recruited over 200 regional companies and organizations as partners. They will be supported by US2020 through a mix of financial support, capacity-building with VISTA AmeriCorps members, consulting support from Discovery Communications, access to the US2020 mentor matching platform, and membership in a community of practice. In addition, Discovery Communications will air a cross-channel public service announcement starring MythBusters and Science Channel's Head Rush host Kari Byron on its 14 U.S. Networks, focusing on the need to recruit STEM mentors to help encourage students at a young age, especially girls and minorities who are under-represented in STEM careers.

The long-term goal of US2020 is to mobilize 1 million STEM mentors annually by the year 2020, creating millions of moments of discovery – those life changing events when children launch rockets, build robots, write a computer program, or look into the farthest reaches of the universe. Today, Chevron and Discovery Communications are joining US2020 as its newest partners, joining founding partners Cisco, Cognizant, Raytheon, SanDisk and Tata Consultancy Services.

·         ConnectED Commitment by Esri to Provide Free Educational Software to Every K-12 School in America:  In continuing its support of education, and in line with the President’s ConnectED vision of opening new opportunity through technology in the classroom, Esri will provide to every U.S. K-12 school in America free access to ArcGIS Online Organization accounts — the same GIS technology as used by government and business. These allow users to map and analyze data, create and share content, and collaborate in the cloud -- via computers, tablets, or smartphones, anytime, anywhere connected.  This commitment expands on Esri’s successful program in pilot schools at all levels across the country, and will allow students to do projects of unlimited content, from global to local, building community, as well as knowledge and skills for college and career.

·         New Nationwide Campaign to Engage Hispanic Youth in STEM: NBCUniversal's Hispanic Enterprises and Content will launch a new nationwide campaign, Aprender es Triunfar, aimed at closing the Latino student achievement gap, especially in STEM education. A central pillar of the campaign will be the release of Underwater Dreamsa new documentary film by award-winning filmmaker Mary Mazzio and narrated by actor Michael Pena.  The film chronicles the compelling and inspirational story of four teenage boys, the sons of Mexican immigrants, who entered a sophisticated underwater robotics competition, going up against the likes of engineering powerhouse MIT. In support of reaching many Latino families with this inspirational message, AMC Theatres has committed to hosting 100 community screenings across the U.S. to enable school and non-profit groups to enjoy the film on the big screen this summer and fall.  In addition, this July, MSNBC, Telemundo and mun2 will simultaneously broadcast a 44-minute television version. This project was made possible by the Bezos Family Foundation, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, and Babson College, among others. 

·         A New Global Initiative to Connect STEM Students from around the World with Each Other and with Leading Scientists: The New York Academy of Sciences and its partners are launching the Global STEM Alliance, an ambitious program to connect STEM students from around the world with each other, and with their role models, through a mix of site-based programs, a collaborative digital platform, and a social learning network. The initiative will begin with students in the United States, Malaysia, Australia and the City of Barcelona, with other countries and regions expected to join. Working with Cisco’s advanced tools, the virtual platform allows students to:
o   interact and discuss STEM with counterparts in other countries;
o   participate in mentoring relationships with brilliant, young scientists;
o   elect to take cutting-edge STEM courses, challenges, games, and other activities;
o   learn about a day-in-the-life-of a scientist;
o   seek advice, and network with STEM-minded peers.
Additional members of the Alliance include GALXYZ, a game-based intergalactic science adventure, and Rocket 21, an online youth engagement platform, with more to come.

In addition, the New York Academy of Sciences and Rocket21 will partner to announce Dream Big for the World, a series of STEM challenges to immerse middle and high school students in the pressing global issues raised in the USAID Grand Challenges. Planned for launch during the 2014-2015 academic year, the challenge will invite students, working independently or in a team, to develop innovative solutions to their choice of Grand Challenges, with opportunities to connect virtually with content experts, as well as provide resources to teachers. The ultimate goal of the Global STEM Alliance is to mitigate STEM drop-out and create the next generation of STEM leaders and innovators, thereby closing the widely predicted gap in the technically adept workers needed to address the grand challenges of the 21st century.

·         Khan Academy and NASA Collaborate to Help More Students Learn the Math and Science Behind Going to Mars:  Today, NASA and Khan Academy are partnering to launch www.khanacademy.org/NASA, a series ofinteractive lessons that invite users to engage with the science and mathematics used to measure our universe and the exciting engineering problems involved in launching and landing on Mars. The simulations, challenges, and games transport students deep into STEM subjects, blending NASA’s space exploration expertise with Khan Academy’s compelling approach to online self-paced learning.  These dynamic educational materials will be free and available on Khan Academy to millions of learners worldwide. In just the past two years, Khan’s free online educational materials have reached over 100 million learners worldwide and delivered over 2 billion exercise problems.

Ongoing Momentum by Existing Partners in the President’s Call to Action
·         Time Warner Cable Reaches Goal of Connecting 1 Million Minds to STEM: Five years ago, in response to the President’s call to action, Time Warner Cable (TWC) launched a new philanthropic initiative, Connect a Million Minds, to have parents, mentors and others commit to connecting over one million students to highly-engaging after-school STEM activities. Through national and local non-profit partnerships, employee volunteers, original public service announcements, and innovative campaigns like STEM in Sports and Wouldn’t It Be Cool If…, TWC has organized direct and in-kind investments of more than $100 million to-date to inspire student interest in STEM subjects. Together with its partners, including FIRST Robotics and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, TWC has reached its goal of connecting one million students to STEM opportunities in their communities. Building on this success, TWC will continue connecting students through new and expanded partnerships that bring high-quality STEM learning to existing afterschool programs, and by leveraging its media assets, which include "It Ain't Rocket Science," an original television series that introduces families to STEM events and careers.

·         Over 130,000 Youth Engaged in STEM Learning Outside of the Classroom: Four years ago, responding to the President’s call to action, the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), a global organization of science centers, museums, and related institutions, announced the national ‘Youth Inspired Challenge’ to engage at least 25,000 youth, ages 10-19, in at least two million hours of hands-on science enrichment outside of the classroom. In addition to the strong support of community leaders, social support organizations, corporations, and individual citizens, ASTC announced today that institutions in all 50 states across America have joined the initiative, with the result that the Youth Inspired Challenge has vastly exceeded its goal and continues to grow.  As of today, the results indicate that participating institutions are providing programs that can engage more than 132,000 youth in nearly 3.5 million hours of targeted STEM learning. The Youth Inspired Challenge places particular emphasis on expanding opportunities for STEM engagement of underrepresented groups, including minorities, women, and youth with disabilities, and ASTC plans to continue the effort to reach even more students.

·         Summer Launch of Online Resource Library for Maker Educators: Building on the successful launch of their Maker Corps program at the last White House Science Fair, the Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed) will launch an online resource library, a culmination of the most valuable insights gained from national partnerships including playbooks, videos, projects, and an interactive community of practice. Maker Ed expects more than 100,000 educators to benefit from these resources, which will go live in advance of the 2014-2015 school year.

·         Math and Science Effort for Military-Impacted Students Continues to Add Partners and Grow: As part of the First Lady’s Joining Forces effort, the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) College Readiness Program is leading a campaign to give many more students in military families access to rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) coursework in math and science. Starting in four public high schools in 2010, by 2013, the 52 schools in the NMSI program that had completed their first year were showing a 67 percent increase in passing math, science and English AP scores – more than nine times the national average while African-American and Hispanic students saw an 80 percent increase. Women saw a 62 percent increase in passing math and science AP scores. With additional support, NMSI is now expanding its program to reach a total of 78 high schools this year.


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