Koskinen -- "We believe one of the best ways to educate people about Y2K is through newspapers and schools" (USIS/USIA Washington File)

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24 September 1999

Text: President's Y2K Council Release on Youth Education

(Newspapers help educators inform students on Y2K)(690)


[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

Washington - The President's Council on Y2K kicked off a new program September 23 to educate schoolchildren about Year 2000 issues. Using the longstanding Newspapers in Education (NIE) program, this new effort will disseminate Y2K information to students through supplements and a five-part series of news features.

"We believe one of the best ways to educate people about Y2K is through newspapers and schools," Council Chair John Koskinen said.

More than 4,000 community newspapers will be involved, publishing the extra material for free. In communities, where the newspaper chooses not to participate, educators will be able to contact the Council for teaching materials.

More information can be found on the Web at: http://www.y2k.gov/youth .

Following is the text of the statement:

(begin text)

September 23, 1999


The President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion today launched the Y2K Youth Education Program, an unprecedented effort to provide teachers, students and their families with accurate, up-to-date information about the Year 2000 (Y2K) issue.

Consisting of easy-to-use materials, the program is specifically designed to help teachers educate students about the Y2K issue through Newspaper in Education (NIE) programs across the country. This initiative is a partnership between the President's Council, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) and the National Newspaper Association (NNA), which collectively represent the nation's daily, weekly and community newspapers.

"The Year 2000 challenge needs to be met by informed and educated communities," said Council Chair John A. Koskinen. "Communities with information about readiness for the date change will be better prepared to deal with whatever difficulties arise. We believe one of the best ways to educate people about Y2K is through newspapers and schools."

Daily, weekly and community newspapers will receive a sample copy of a student supplement, teacher guide, and a five-part newspaper feature series. Additionally, they will receive a CD-ROM disk containing the electronic files for use in publishing and promoting these materials locally. Publishers across the nation will use the disk to easily reproduce the materials and distribute them with the newspaper to schools within their communities. Individual teachers whose local papers do not participate in the program will also be able to request information directly from the Council at its web site (www.y2k.gov/youth) or by calling 1-888-USA-4-Y2K.

"We are delighted that the joint efforts of the President's Council and Newspaper in Education programs will be helping educators, young people and their families learn how to be prepared for the century date change, and we strongly encourage newspapers to use these materials in their communities," said John F. Sturm, President and CEO of the NAA, a nonprofit organization representing more than 2,000 newspapers in the United States and Canada.

"There is not much time remaining before the Year 2000 rollover so this is an ideal time for newspapers to participate in this program," said Lockwood Phillips, President of the NNA, which represents more than 4,000 community newspapers. "With this program, we will provide papers with camera-ready feature articles, classroom materials, including a student supplement for all grade levels, and an innovative guide for teachers."

"Providing materials to schools through newspapers allows teachers to incorporate news and current events into the learning process," added Koskinen. "We hope that businesses will support this important effort with sponsorship of the program through their local newspapers."

The instructional materials for the Y2K Youth Education Program were prepared in conjunction with Use the News, under the management of its president, Dr. Betty L. Sullivan, Ph.D., a nationally recognized education expert.

The President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, established on February 4, 1998, by Executive Order 13073, is responsible for coordinating the Federal Government' efforts to address the Year 2000 problem. The Council' more than 30 member agencies are working to promote action on the problem and to offer support to public and private sector organizations within their policy areas. Visit the Council via the Internet at http://www.y2k.gov . For consumer information on the Year 2000 problem, call the council's free information line at 1-888-USA-4-Y2K (1-888-872 4925).

(end text)

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), September 25, 1999


Newspaper Association of America (NAA) -- offering key information for and about the newspaper industry.


(Search engine keeps crashing my browser).

National Newspaper Association (NNA) Arlington, VA -- mission is to protect, promote and enhance America's community newspapers


(Cant find zip yet about Y2K)

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), September 25, 1999.

Doesn't this strike you as backwards? We can't educate the public, cause god knows they'll panic and make things worse; but we can educate the kids. Just what do they plan to tell the kids?

It makes my skin crawl everytime the govt. gets involve with some kind of natl. campaign that targets the kids. Lets see now...I can see the blip...no major problems, maybe some local problems, is your family ready for the snow storm? Do you know the difference between readiness and hoarding? Sally, what do you mean you parents are ready for the depression? They have how many closets full of food? They have guns? (Teacher taking notes during class discussion of parental preparedness)

I think we just crossed another one of those invisible lines that shouldn't be crossed. It's called the invisible back (trap) door into your home. The public school (pipeline) through the children.

I personally thought FEMA did a nice job on their preparedness message for kids. A way to bring the child into the process without scaring them. If the govt. follows this approach fine, no problem .... but if at the local level it is used to pry into the homes of local citizens, that's another matter.

-- Shelia (Shelia@active-stream.com), September 25, 1999.

Poor Sally's Mom & Dad. After assuming the politically correct Alfred E. Newman (what me worry?) attitude that the government has wanted and expected them to have, the kids are now going to come home from school to proceed to lecture them on preparedness. Oh, and let's not forget to recycle. And respect each other's feelings.

This is another example of how the government assumes that parents are capable of breeding and producing a child, but that the schools and associated bureaucracies are the only ones caring enough, intelligent enough, and competent enough to look out for their best interests.

Given that most parents of young children that I know have completely swallowed the government propaganda regarding y2k, it's not hard to see how they could get that idea.

-- JIT (justintime@notnow.net), September 25, 1999.

didn,t hitler ,use the kids'to SNITCH on anyone who wasn,t forthe cause?--N.W.O. sneakin in the back door?

-- god have mercy. (dogs@zianet.com), September 25, 1999.

Yes-NWO sneakin in the back door...Home Schooling is the only answer. Hey Al, I love your posts no matter how you want to type them! Keep fighting the good fight. Our God still sits on the throne!\

-- (I Believe (Repent@time is now.com), September 25, 1999.

Now, listen carefully children. Y2K is under control. Electricity is done. Telephone is done. There will be plenty of energy and food for everyone. But your family should prepare for a three day storm. Anyone who says different is a kook.

And we wonder why our children are getting dumber all the time! ;-)

-- cgbgjr (cgbg jr@webtv.net), September 25, 1999.

John Kospinem to David Rockefeller, "What we gonna do today boss?"

" Same thing we do every day Pinky, er John, try to take over the world."

Meanwhile, I was visiting one of our centers of higher learning the other day. The third world republic of Detroit. Man that new math is really something. You should see what it's done to the population there. I think our nations capital is also a tribute to state run education, you can just see the hope and inspiration in the eyes of the local citizenry.

-- Nikoli Krushev (doomsday@y2000.com), September 25, 1999.

I thought about this approx. 6 months ago and have waiting for the worksheet to come home from my 10 year old son. It would be labeled very simply. "Y2k is coming, Its prudent to prepare. Think of it like a three day storm. Tell us what you and your parents are doing to prepare." Now for all those lurker teachers out there--lets here from you. Is this your job? I know you people have a tough job and are very underpaid. I am trying very politely to ask your opinions.

-- Bill (sticky@2side.tape), September 25, 1999.

Can you say "shill?" Can you say "propaganda?" Let's have the children take home the 3 day storm message. Let's be sure the children ridicule their parents if they are preparing. Let's make sure that no one prepares. Big Daddy government knows best. We are the government and we are here to help. Y'all come on down. DC is going to have a whopping big 21 shelters for half a million people. Be prepared to evacuate to a shelter.

My mother just lost power for 6 days. 3 day storm. BULL! There - I said it again. BULL!


-- Sally Strackbein (sally@y2kkitchen.com), September 25, 1999.

Now, Sally, is the time for all good bulls to become bears. FEMA & Koffinsky will take care of us all. Here's a snippet of their so successful efforts thus far on behalf of 3-day storm Americans:



The viscous soup of floodwater, sewage, hog waste, animal and human carcasses, chemicals, gasoline, fertilizer, pesticides and other pollutants churns in Roseboro, N.C -- more than a week after Hurricane Floyd passed through.

"Floyd has created a public health threat unprecedented in the region," reports Sunday's PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, "and any day now, on the surface of this 18,000-square-mile cesspool, billions of mosquitoes will begin to hatch."

The paper's Richard Lezin Jones reports: "At week's end, epidemiologists, health and environmental officials were expressing concern about the possibility of an outbreak of gastrointestinal and other diseases, such as pathogenic e. coli, caused by contaminated drinking water."

A letter to the DRUDGE REPORT says too much about the disaster:

Dear Mr. Drudge,

The enormity of the calamity that has stricken eastern North Carolina is not comprehended by the national media, federal government officials or American citizens in general.

My town of New Bern, NC, was one of the few east of I-95 spared by most of the mind-boggling levels of flooding in the aftermath of Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd. But from my vantage point, I see a level of destruction and suffering throughout the Coastal Plain region of the state that is indescribable.

The flood has been categorized by government officials and by meteorologists and other scientists as a 500-year or 1,000-year flood. Ironically, most of the areas swamped by the deluge are not even in so-called "flood plains."

The flood is evolving into a catastrophe of Biblical proportions. As the waters slowly subside over the eastern section of the state, corpses are being discovered in buildings, automobiles, trees, etc. You can expect the official death toll to climb in coming days and weeks as thousands of square miles of submerged towns and rural areas emerge from the slowly waning flood.

In addition, millions of drowned farm animals and hundreds of millions of gallons of animal manure spilled from the waste pits of giant hog and poultry factories combined with unprecedented spills of petroleum products, chemicals and assorted toxic substances may well result in an unimaginable environmental disaster.

The destruction suffered by industry, agriculture and other enterprises; the loss of wages as a result of flooded factories and businesses; and the damage to highways, bridges, water plants, utility plants and other infrastructure may well be in the tens of billions of dollars.

Tens of thousands of the people who survived, including those in shelters as well as those in residences isolated by surrounding flood waters, are living like third-world refugees and peasants. When the waters recede, their existence will continue to be pitiful because much of eastern North Carolina will be like a war-ravaged wasteland for months or even years.

Billions of dollars and untold military manpower and assets have been committed by the United States to remote countries all over the world in recent years for political, economic and security reasons. I fail to comprehend why a massive effort on a similar scale isn't under way at this moment to help relieve the misery, bring about stability, safety and sanitation, and assist with the recovery and reconstruction of a region of the American South that is undergoing human suffering on a scale not seen since the Civil War.

The purpose of this message is to bring this desperate situation to your attention. In my opinion, the response of federal agencies to this enormous and ongoing tragedy has been too slow and too meager. I suspect this is because the responsible authorities, though well-meaning, have yet to grasp the apocalyptic scale of the flood and the incredible consequences that are only now becoming apparent.

If you decide to research the situation, as I hope you will, please get your information from the local broadcast and print media in eastern North Carolina, not from the national media. The national media has attempted to frankly report the flooding but they tend to focus on the dire straits of a single town or area without imparting to the public the overwhelming reality that the disaster afflicting the locality they are reporting from is duplicated in towns, villages and farmlands that cover a third of the entire state.

Eastern North Carolina needs help much more rapidly, on a scale far more massive and with a sense of urgency far more acute than what seems to be coming forth so far. Please help get the word out, Drudge.


New Bern, NC

* * * * *



-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), September 26, 1999.

Words of wisdom going to a school near you - snipped from http://www.y2k.gov/youth/in dex.html and pages linked from the main page. :

Everyone agrees that Y2K is a potential problem. But most experts believe it can be remedied by January 1, 2000.

John Koskinen, Chair of the Presidents Council on Year 2000 Conversion, says there is no evidence that major national or regional disruptions will occur in critical systems such as electric power, telephones, banking or Federal government services. Its also unlikely that disruptions will occur in areas where local governments and businesses are working on Y2K-readiness.

The banking industry and financial institutions are widely recognized as leaders in Y2K readiness and they were among the first to address public fears about the issue.

Your Money Is Safe in the Bank Next month, next year and every day, your money is safe in the bank. Prior to the date change, take out as much cash as you would need for any long holiday weekend. If you feel you need more, your bank will be ready.

Food, Water and Other Supplies: Prepare as you would for a long holiday weekend by having at least a three-day supply of food and water (one gallon per person per day). The food industry is not only ready for Y2K, but it is resilient and accustomed to dealing with unexpected disruptions (e.g., storms). As always, it is a good idea to make purchases early.

Medicine: As always, refill prescription medications when you have a five- to seven-day supply remaining. The pharmaceutical and health-care industries are confident, based on experience, that following this standard practice is all that is needed for Y2K. If you have any questions about your health care needs, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or other health care-provider.

Airlines Will Be Safe for Year 2000. We will be ready, we will be flying, and we will be flying safely. All computer systems of the Federal Aviation Administration  including systems that involve the operation of the nations air traffic control system  are fully compliant for the Year 2000.

MYTH: Y2K will lead to gas rationing.

FACT: Homeowners and motorists can continue to count on a steady supply of the fuels that energize their lives, despite the Y2K computer changeover. Americas oil and natural gas industry has invested over $2 billion during the past five years to make certain its customers will have the gasoline, motor oil, lubricants, heating oil, natural gas, propane and all the other oil and gas products they rely on.

The telecommunications industry is probably better equipped to address and resolve Y2K problems than most because it is engineered for near unfailing reliability. [gotta love their sense of humor] ...Widespread problems in emergency calls to 911 are not expected...

You Will Get Mail

The U.S. Postal Service relies on automated sorting equipment and thousands of other computer-related components to support its daily task of delivering 40 percent of the worlds mail. Left uncorrected, affected equipment could have an impact on the Postal Services ability to process and deliver mail. However, you will continue to get your mail. The agency has been testing and fixing all systems, and they will be ready on January 1, 2000.

Y2K Tip: Beware of Scams

Con artists are already actively exploiting Y2K fears. Be wary of goods and services touted as Y2K-guaranteed. Beware of anyone attempting to sell you unnecessary products such as massive food supplies or other unusual Y2K personal preparedness items. Never give out personal financial information over the phone unless you initiate the call and are sure the person on the phone is legitimate. Report any attempts to solicit such information to the police.

Well before January 1, all Federal government mission-critical systems will be Y2K-compliant. In September, the Office of Management and Budget reported that 97 percent of all mission-critical Federal government systems had reached full compliance. These systems have been tested and will be able to process data accurately into the Year 2000.


In July 1999, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen declared the Department of Defense ready to face the challenges of the Year 2000 computer problem. The department also is working with other nations to make sure their weapons systems are Y2K-ready.

The armed forces will be ready to ensure national security before, on and after the Year 2000, said Dr. John J. Hamre, Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Hospitals and Health Care

The quality of health care in America in Year 2000 and beyond is expected to remain high. Few Y2K problems are expected to impact hospitals, medical equipment or medicines.

Medicine Is Ready for 2000

A survey by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America showed that 100 percent of the companies responding  including nearly all of the top 20 research-based pharmaceutical firms  have a Y2K plan in place to ensure the continuous supply of medicines to patients.


Your tax dollars at work. *Sigh*.. frown... tears.

-- Linda (lwmb@psln.com), September 26, 1999.

Less than 100 days left of doublespeak crapola!

-- quack (quack@quack.quack), September 26, 1999.

I've seen so many lies that they don't even make me angry anymore.

-- number six (iam_not_a_number@hotmail.com), September 26, 1999.

I'm not trying to play "Devil's Advocate" here, but let's think for just a moment about the folks out there who have totally ignored Y2k rather than those who are prepared already. Many here see devastating consequences, yet others see no consequences at all.

Consider also the families that may have numerous children and a mother and father who perhaps work two jobs to support the kids, or a single parent who finds him/herself working multiple jobs. Do they have/take the time to read the newspapers, or discuss drugs, alcohol, or tobacco with their children?

I've seen a lot of good things come from school programs. I saw a neighbor child with an alcoholic/drug using mother and stepfather learn about drugs and alcohol in school. The mother didn't like hearing from her child about what alcohol was doing to her stomach lining and liver, and the stepfather didn't like hearing what a smoker's lungs looked like, but this kid didn't follow the example of her parents because she KNEW better. [She actually turned out to be a lovely young lady.]

Regarding Y2k, for those who know NOTHING, at least the kids will know that they need to prepare for SOMETHING. If there are 5 kids and 2 parents, that's 21 gallons of water that they may now have because the kids nagged them into buying/storing it. It may not be what you'd like them to have, but it sure beats no water at all.

-- Anita (spoonera@msn.com), September 26, 1999.

A little tidbit I came across this morning...

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/local/state/texas/story.html?s=v/ rs/19990927/tx/index_1.html#4


State: "Lets Make Y2K Too Cool" - (STATEWIDE) -- The state of Texas says it's gong out of its way to make sure children are involved in preparations for Y2K. Jo Moss of the Texas Division of Emergency Management says it's important to include children in any disaster preparation, be it for floods or hurricanes, so it makes sense to make sure students are ``taking part'' in Y2K preparations at home, and helping their families obtain Y2K readiness materials, including a two or three day supply of food.


-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), September 27, 1999.

Oh, wow, linkmeister.

Thanks. I'll certainly report if my Texan schoolchild brings any Y2K fear-mongering literature home from school.

I would absolutely fall over backwards if it actually happened.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), September 27, 1999.

So, they have found out that the public isn't listening to their propaganda, and so they (Washington) have to get the word out through a group already indoctrinated in learning....and who are not able to separate the government's incorrect conclusions from their partially correct) data from their (outright) lies and exaggerations.

For example, again, the government is (deliberately) confusing "amount of money spent" with "success:" as in the fuels, utilities, and government programs. Again, they are concluding "nothing will go wrong" based ONLY on untested, "hoping to complete" schedules using self-reported data from self-interested, self-serving bureacrats.

And those conclusions are simply false. And worse than misleading, they are dangerous. (But as long as people leave their money in the bank......all lies are pkay, right? Again, again, and again, we see that is the only mission of the government's programs right now.)

And, through a docile press, and a teacher's establishment that is endeared to the administration, the government's message is going out.....

[By the way, the supposed "free" newspaper supplements are going to come from yoiur pocketbooks.....these newspapers are not "free," as the press gets a few more "public affairs" monies too.]

But, who's message? Not a free press, nor from an open discussion of ideas.

Only the ideas and decisions and conclusions that are what the government has decided it wants presented. And that, dear friends, is NOT freedom.

That, Anita, is militant national socialism, totalitarism, and communism.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), September 27, 1999.

A few months back, someone (Diane?) provided a link to the month-by-month Federal "communications plan" for Y2K. September was focussed on the "Education community", with information targeted to schools and associated media.

I didn't bookmark the link (cudgels self about head and shoulders), so I have no idea what their focus is for October and onward.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), September 27, 1999.

Double head slap Mac. Perhaps Linkmeister can help? Did a quick search on info.gov but no hits.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), September 27, 1999.

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