Friday, February 22, 2008

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Grant Will Bring State of Tomorrow™ Documentary Series to Public School Classrooms

DALLAS – The University of Texas System today (Feb. 22) announced a $75,000 grant from the Dallas-based Meadows Foundation to fund distribution of the groundbreaking PBS series State of Tomorrow™ to every public middle school and high school in the state.

“The Meadows Foundation is pleased to partner with the UT System in making this extraordinary documentary series, and the new curriculum accompanying it, available to teachers and students in our Texas middle schools and high schools,” said Foundation president and CEO Linda P. Evans.  “State of Tomorrow™ will open new and inspiring worlds for students by demonstrating how public higher education can shape the futures of individuals, our neighborhoods, and our world,” Evans added.

Beginning this spring, the Texas Library Association will help facilitate the distribution of the 13-part series, which examines how academic institutions throughout Texas are addressing challenges of the future and how they already impact daily life in everything from medicine to environmental quality.

“The Texas Library Association is thrilled to be a partner with the University of Texas System and the Meadows Foundation in facilitating distribution of this award-winning documentary series through our state’s secondary school libraries,” said Steve Brown, director of the North Richland Hills Public Library and president of the Texas Library Association. “Making this information accessible to as many students as possible is a very worthy endeavor.”

Boxed sets will include a curriculum guide so that the series may be incorporated into lesson plans at secondary schools in each of the state’s 1,040-plus public school districts. The series, co-produced by the University of Texas Foundation and sponsored by AT&T, ExxonMobil and IBC Bank, began airing last spring on PBS stations across the state. 

“We believe this series will stimulate young people to pursue college degrees and to tackle the most challenging technological, social, environmental and economic problems of our time,” UT System Chancellor Mark G. Yudof said.

The State of Tomorrow™ series garnered two Lone Star EMMYs during a gala Oct. 27 in Dallas. The awards are given annually by the Texas chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences. The PBS series had been nominated for five of the awards.
 
The academy recognized the series in the area of graphic arts-animation and singled out one episode in the public/current/community affairs category.

About the University of Texas System
Serving the educational and health care needs of Texans for more than 125 years, the UT System is one of the nation's largest higher education systems with 15 campuses – including nine academic and six health institutions – and an annual operating budget of $10.7 billion (FY 2008). Student enrollment exceeded 190,000 in the 2006 academic year. The UT System confers one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates three-fourths of Texas health care professionals. With more than 80,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in Texas.

About the Meadows Foundation
The Meadows Foundation is a private philanthropic institution established in 1948 by Algur H. and Virginia Meadows to benefit the people of Texas. The Foundation's mission is to assist the people and institutions of Texas improve the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations. Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed over $650 million in grants and direct charitable expenditures to over 2,900 Texas institutions and agencies.

About the Texas Library Association
The Texas Library Association (TLA) is the largest state library association in the United States with more than 7,000 members who work in public, school, academic and special libraries, plus library vendors and citizens who support libraries. TLA offers a wide range of services, including an annual conference that attracts more than 8,000 librarians and exhibitors, a leadership development program, legislative advocacy, and publications. For more information, see www.txla.org or call 512-328-1518.

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