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30 May 2008

Spike TV Partners with USO and United Through Readings







Viewers Invited To Log Onto Spiketruedads.com To Salute Troops Overseas


New York, NY, May xx, 2008 – This Father’s Day, Spike TV, expands its national fatherhood initiative with True Dads: In Uniform by reaching out to help those fathers who can’t physically interact with their kids: the ones fighting overseas.  The network has partnered with the USO and United Through Reading® to help more than 100,000 deployed US soldiers and their families stay connected to their children back home by reading a story aloud on video.


While in the past military personnel have been able to write letters, email and send audio cassettes, the United Through Reading Military Program offers children a chance to actually see their parent’s face, listen to their voice and read along as their parent reads them a children’s story.  Through this program, which is available directly through military commands and at numerous USOs located throughout the world, deployed parents get the opportunity to share their love and support with their children by reading books aloud on DVD.


Starting this Father’s Day, Spike TV’s True Dads will begin sending camera kits to military units in Iraq and Afghanistan and other remote deployed locations that will enable thousands of service members to record themselves reading a book and connect with their children back home. Each of the donated kits include a video camera, tripod, DVDs, various children’s books, packaging and mailing materials and a training package so that the reading is personal and interactive. The completed DVDs are then sent home for the families to enjoy and ease children’s fears and anxiety about their parent’s absence.


“Spike TV’s True Dads campaign is committed to supporting men in their quest to be active and involved fathers,” says Kelleigh Dulany, Vice President of Public Responsibility for Spike TV.  “Reading is a wonderful way to bond with a child and this program is an excellent way for deployed fathers to parent their child from afar and provide them with an emotional connection to help ease the stress of separation.”


Spike TV viewers are encouraged to visit spiketruedads.com to learn more about United Through Reading Military Program and the USO and pledge direct financial support to these outreach efforts. While online, viewers are also invited to send personalized notes and letters to US service members serving abroad to bolster their spirits and reinforce the support they have back home.


Spike TV True Dads….2



Spike TV’s True Dads initiative celebrates and highlights fathers who take an active role in their children’s lives, demonstrating that it is both a rewarding and fulfilling experience. The initiative is designed to encourage responsible fathering and provide the tools and resources to fathers to improve their parenting skills, such as how to talk with their kids, how to balance work & family and ideas of activities to spend more time with their children.  The network supports True Dads with a multi-platform campaign that includes PSAs featuring both celebrity and everyday dads, local community outreach events including events with several Minor League Baseball teams, an enhanced digital media site located at spiketruedads.com, national promotions/sweepstakes and strategic partnerships with National Fatherhood Initiative, ParentsConnect.com and GoCityKids.com, among others.


About United Through Reading®

Developed during the Persian Gulf War in 1990, the United Through Reading Military Program is available to all Carrier Strike Groups, Expeditionary Strike Groups, Construction Battalions, Marine Corps Expeditionary Units, Brigade Combat Teams and to deploying National Guard, Reserve and Air Force Units upon request.  More than 220,000 military parents, spouses and children have benefited from the program since its inception.  Founded in 1989, United Through Reading was the nation’s first nonprofit to promote the read-aloud experience for separated families.  Research shows that the read-aloud experience is a way for children to experience the joy of reading and gain critical learning and communication skills.  More than 345,000 parents, spouses and children have benefited from the nationally acclaimed United Through Reading programs.  For more information, visit www.unitedthroughreading.org or call 858-481-7323.


About the USO

For more than 67 years, the USO (United Service Organizations) has been providing morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The USO is a nonprofit, charitable organization, relying on the generosity of the American people to support its programs and services. The USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners AT&T Inc., BAE Systems North America, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, DRS Technologies, Inc. and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. Other corporate donors, including the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381), have joined thousands of individual donors to support the USO. For more information on the USO, please visit our Web site at www.uso.org.


About Spike TV

Spike TV is available in 96.1 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com.


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Press Contacts:

Debra Fazio-Rutt     Spike TV                                212/767-8649                 debra.fazio@spiketv.com

Rebecca Heyl                       United Through Reading   858/748-5797                        rebeccaheyl@cox.net