Friday, August 31, 2012

Give Education School the Nation P&G


Matthew McConaughey Just Livin - P&G Partnership

Let me warn you: These statistics are going to shock you. One third of American high school students, including half of all students of color, fail to graduate on time. What's even worse is that every 26 seconds a kid drops out of high school here in the U.S. That amounts to a staggering 1.2 million students leaving 9th through 12th grades each year.

As a mom of four teens all in high school now I had no idea the problem with kids failing to get a high school education was so serious prior to this.  That all changed when I was invited as one of a handful of influential mom bloggers to attend a press conference followed by a special roundtable event just for us at Venice High School in Venice, California, beachtown adjacent to Los Angeles.

Limos picked up each mom blogger and delivered us to the event

With such a crisis at hand impacting our youth right now and by extension the future of America as a whole, it is reassuring to know that there are companies like Procter & Gamble (P&G) and organizations such as Communities in Schools (CIS) and Just Keep Livin Foundation (j.k. livin), founded by actor Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila who care and are working together toward turning those sad trends around.

Media prepare for the press conference to begin

At the appointed time with McConaughey at the helm as campaign spokesperson, consumer product powerhouse P&G and CIS together launched the second annual GIVE Education "School the Nation" campaign. The Give effort reflects Procter & Gamble's growing socially responsible actions in the community with this program based on three pillars: GIVE Hope, GIVE Health and GIVE Education. 

It's really easy for consumers to take an active part in helping to literally school the nation with the Buy, Give and Get program. Just by purchasing $25 worth of select P&G products consumers get a $5 rebate by mail plus P&G will donate $5 to CIS on your behalf.

Pictured Above:
McConaughey, Karen Kei Schlosser of P&G, Mike Benton, CIS  and j.k. livin kids

The focus of this P&G backed effort, it's important to point out, is not just about raising money for a very good cause. It is also meant to stimulate greater awareness about the troublesome U.S. dropout rate among those of us who can do something about it as well as to motivate thousands of mentors in schools across America to provide badly needed support, encouragement and motivation to at-risk youth in the public school system. The ultimate goal is to actively help these kids graduate so they can realize brighter futures as adults. It's a win-win situation for everyone.

CIS, one of the nation's leading dropout prevention groups, has a long history in this arena. As a matter of fact they've been working for more than 30 years to reach out to kids in 2,700 schools in 25 states and in Washington, DC. The organization currently works with 15,000 community partners such as j.k. livin -- reaching a total of almost 1.25 million youth and their families annually.

 McConaughey's presence loomed large both inside and outdoors on the day the big announcement was made both in relation to his commitment to social good and to his visibility as a public figure that has a particularly strong following among young people.

Mcconaughey works out with j.k. livin teen participants

The event started out in the gym where a mini workout session was held, followed by a press conference. The media, TV cameras, reporters and us mom bloggers all caught the action as McConaughey lead a group of high schoolers in a rousing round of exercise. These are kids whose lives have been forever changed by j.k. livin -- which is a non-profit largely based on the proven philosophy that fitness and an overall more healthy lifestyle contributes to higher graduation rates.

McConaughey's passion for his cause and the all-around betterment of youth runs deep into his soul. It's truly apparent when you hear him talk about it.


McConaughey with Coach Venice's j.k. livin program kids

"I created j.k. livin," he explains, "so we can help children make positive and healthy changes in themselves and the world around them -- and at the most basic level for many, that starts with graduating from high school."

Mom Blog Classroom Roundtable, Image from P&G

After the conference this leading man -- looking particularly gaunt because of all the weight he's lost lately for his upcoming movie role as a guy diagnosed with AIDS in The Dallas Buyer's Club -- met privately with a half dozen or so bloggers including me. In his boy-next-door Texas twang style this father of two with a third child on the way shared more about the work his foundation is doing, why it matters to him on a personal level, and how it has already helped make a real difference in the lives of kids enrolled in the program's 14 Title 1 high schools.

Healthy refreshments at the launch were abundant

It wasn't until after the event and we had emerged from the building at this seaside high school campus that it finally hit me. Just as McConaughey walked out to his limo he was recognized by a mob of giddy high school girls in the middle of cheerleading practice.

This is one man who is incredibly talented and really good looking. He is also doing great things with his Hollywood celebrity status to give back to communities across America. If you ask me, Matthew McConaughey potentially has the power to influence an entire generation of American kids.

Me with McConaughey at the event, Image from P&G

About P&G Give
P&G GIVE is a social sustainability platform of Procter & Gamble the company that serves approximately 4.4 billion people around the world with its many household name brands. It is designed to inspire and enable people to use their everyday purchases to touch lives and improve life.

FTC Disclosure: I wrote this blogpost on behalf of Procter & Gamble Company and the P&G Give Education program. I was hosted by P&G and received VIP perks for attending the launch event. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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