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Press Release: Cartoon Network Salutes Hispanic Heritage Month

Cartoon Network Salutes Hispanic Heritage Month, Partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to Advance Latino Staff Recruitment and Club Membership

Spanish Language PSAs to Run on Cartoon Network Sept. 15-Oct. 15; “Animate Your World” Promotion Invites Kids to Create Hispanic-Themed Original Cartoons

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Cartoon Network is joining forces with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to help the organization expand its Latino Outreach Initiative through a campaign designed to appeal to Latino professionals, youth leaders and kids. The new campaign, launched as the country celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, is targeted to increase BGCA’s 21% Latino youth served (966,000) and 15% Latino staffing (7,000). Efforts will include dissemination of a Cartoon Network-sponsored Latino Staff Development Resource Guide for more than 3,900 Clubs; a four-week flight of English and Spanish language PSAs to appear repeatedly on the Cartoon Network national feed Sept. 15-Oct. 15; and a Club-exclusive promotion/contest where kids can learn the art of computer animation by creating their own original animated cartoons—highlighting Latino themes, customs, historical figures, etc.—through Cartoon Network’s award-winning “Animate Your World” Web-based application.

“With the Latino population the fastest-growing and youngest minority in the U.S., BGCA wanted to identify new strategies they could employ on a national basis to attract more Latino Club members across the country,” said Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of marketing for Cartoon Network. “One key opportunity we discovered is for Boys & Girls Clubs to bolster Latino staffing in local markets to serve as visible role models for Latino kids. So we undertook this challenge to see if Cartoon Network could work with BGCA to provide a tool that every Club could use to attract and secure a broad base of Latino professionals as potential staff and/or volunteers.”

The resulting Latino Staff Development Resource Guide is a comprehensive document covering an overview and purpose of the initiative, a snapshot of changing demographics in the U.S., strategies for direct and indirect recruitment for Boys & Girls Clubs career opportunities, resources for Latino professional development and retention, and profiles of significant Latino professionals within Boys & Girls Clubs. The guide, along with additional promotional tools described below, will be distributed to nearly 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide.

“The goal of creating a comprehensive Staff Development Guide specifically for Latinos is to provide Boys & Girls Clubs with resources and strategies for hiring, developing and retaining Latino professionals,” said Evan McElroy, BGCA senior vice president, marketing and communications. “Cartoon Network graciously agreed to fund the $200,000 study earlier this year, and will now help us distribute the valuable document to all Clubs across the country. We believe this will help emphasize the importance of developing Latino Club members (youth) into Junior Staff, and eventually lead them into potential career paths in the Boys & Girls Clubs Movement.”

Throughout the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, Sept. 15-Oct. 15, Cartoon Network also will spotlight two BGCA-produced PSAs showcasing Latino Club members. Built around the theme “It Just Takes One,” the PSAs feature children inviting adult volunteers to consider investing their time, energy and commitment toward serving children through a local Boys & Girls Club. A Spanish-speaking version will appear first, followed immediately by a separate English-speaking version, with the intention of capturing adult Latino attention.

“Boys & Girls Clubs exist to serve the social, educational and recreational needs of kids from all backgrounds,” said Adamovich. “We believe these spots will serve BGCA on several levels: as an invitation for kids to come see what a local Club has to offer, an inspiration for young adults to consider volunteering their time to come work with motivated kids, and a possible career path for Latino professionals interested in positive social work.”

Boys & Girls Club kids will be invited to participate in a Hispanic Heritage Month/BGCA-exclusive promotion where they will learn to use basic computer animation programs to make their very own cartoons. Cartoon Network’s popular “Animate Your World” Web-based learning application will be customized so that Boys & Girls Club members can create their own original animated shorts using Latino themes, customs, holidays and/or historical figures. Aided by instructions available in both Spanish and English, kids will be able to import jpeg files of their own original artwork, drawings and photographs to serve as backgrounds for their animated stories. Special sound effects and music options will be available as well.

The first 500 participating Clubs to request the Cartoon Network Hispanic Heritage Month package and agree to host a cartoon-making contest also will receive four-color one-sheets, mini promotional posters announcing the contest, and specially-created Award Certificates—in both Spanish and English—to distribute to all participating kids. A $50,000 prize has been designated for the contests, with each participating Club receiving a $50 Circuit City Gift Card for the 1st Place winner, and two $25 Gift Cards for 2nd and 3rd place winners.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) comprises a national network of more than 3,900 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving some 4.6 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances. Known as “The Positive Place for Kids,” the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6 to 18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.

Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in more than 91 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families. Overnight from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. (ET, PT) Sunday-Thursday, Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation for young adults 18-34.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

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