October 2, 2009
KGW NewsChannel 8 KicksCKS Off KGW Making Readers Campaign
Wells Fargo, Portland Trail Blazers, SMART and KGW Introduce the KGW Making Readers Campaign
A Partnership to Benefit Young Readers
Portland, Ore. - KGW NewsChannel 8 in partnership with Wells Fargo, Portland Trail Blazers and SMART announced today the 1st Annual KGW Making Readers campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to engage the public in the importance of literacy by providing books to kids who need them most.
"Through our conversations with community leaders we realized what a significant issue this is within the Portland area," said DJ Wilson, president and general manager of KGW NewsChannel 8. "The strong link between literacy and becoming a productive citizen can't be ignored. We're grateful that Wells Fargo and the Portland Trail Blazers joined us to help bring this issue to the forefront."
Throughout the month of October, the drive encourages the public to volunteer to read to children or make cash donations of any amount. Just $30 helps the SMART reading program buy 14 new books for a child who needs reading support. All donations go directly to the SMART program to benefit area children. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo location or ATM; or by texting the word SMART to 90999 to donate $5. Cash donations can also be made online at kgw.com/MakingReaders.
"SMART is an important partner to schools in these tough economic times," said Don Pearson, President of Wells Fargo. "Children reading below grade-level by third grade often struggle their entire lives seventy four percent never catch up. We are pleased to be part of a campaign emphasizing the critical need for children to read early. Your investment today lasts a lifetime."
The campaign will tip-off this Sunday, October 4th at the Wells Fargo Fan Fest Event taking place at the Rose Garden Arena. This scrimmage event is free to the public. Tickets are available at Oregon and Southwest Washington Wells Fargo locations. Wells Fargo customers may show their Wells Fargo card on the day of the event for entry. SMART will be on-site at the event promoting the KGW Making Readers campaign, collecting donations and entertaining the crowd with fun activities.
"The Trail Blazers have been proud partners of SMART for over a decade," said Larry Miller, President, Portland Trail Blazers. "From players and executives to front line staff, our organization has participated and seen first-hand how SMART is working for Oregon's young people. The program addresses an essential priority for education today literacy necessary for children to succeed. We are thrilled to work alongside Wells Fargo and KGW NewsChannel 8 in growing SMART's outreach."
In an effort to create more public awareness for this campaign, KGW is offering its viewers an opportunity to participate in its Making Readers Word of the Day contest. A word will be announced every day during KGW NewsChannel 8 @ Sunrise. Viewers will go to kgw.com/MakingReaders where they must correctly select the word from that day to be eligible for a chance to win two Suite Level Tickets to a Portland Trail Blazers Game.
"If children don't learn to read by third grade, they can't read to learn," said Terry Shanley, SMART CEO. "Every year SMART provides up to 10,000 K-3 students with one-on-one literacy support and new, take-home books. We are thrilled to deepen our partnerships with Wells Fargo, KGW, and the Trail Blazers to help young children become confident readers."
ABOUT WELLS FARGO
Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $575 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally.
ABOUT SMART® (START MAKING A READER TODAY)
SMART is a nonprofit that envisions an Oregon where every child can read and is empowered to succeed. We engage community volunteers to read one-on-one with K-3 children who need literacy support. Participating children also receive new books each month to keep and read with their families. Since 1992, thousands of SMART volunteers have been inspiring little readers through storytelling. Together with support from the community, we are building brighter futures for Oregonians big and small. Volunteer or donate today. Visit www.getsmartoregon.org or
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS
The Portland Trail Blazers, members of the National Basketball Association (NBA), were founded in 1970, and purchased by Paul G. Allen in 1988. The team's rich heritage includes 27 playoff appearances, an NBA championship in 1977 and a commitment to community service. With a corporate mission to "Make It Better," the Trail Blazers strive to help children and their families throughout Oregon and southwest Washington learn, play, grow, get involved and live healthier lives. The Trail Blazers are the first and only pro sports franchise to receive the prestigious National Points of Light Award for excellence in corporate community service. A long-time partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland led to the establishment of the Blazers Boys & Girls Club, the first team-sponsored club of its kind, and has resulted in contributions of more than $1 million. The Albina Head Start McCormack-Matthews Center, which provides education and health services to preschoolers and their families, was established in 2004 with nearly $1 million in contributions from Allen, the team, and former Trail Blazers star and Portland native Damon Stoudamire. For more information on the Trail Blazers visit www.trailblazers.com.
ABOUT BELO CORP.
Belo Corp. (BLC) is one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, with 2008 annual revenue of $733 million. The Company owns and operates 20 television stations (nine in the top 25 markets) and their associated Web sites. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and MyNetwork TV, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 highly-attractive markets. Belo stations rank first or second in nearly all of their local markets. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Paul Fry, vice president/Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, at 214-977-6835.