"They SOLD me . . . they traded me for TECHNOLOGY."

TO: Association Presidents
FROM: The Manitoba Teachers' Society

March 16, 1999

Athena Education Partners' Youth News Network (YNN) has raised its head again, looking to buy a captive student audience with technological baubles. YNN recently approached some schools in Manitoba and they should be wary of the offer.

YNN is NOT a free deal. YNN costs.

YNN buys the minds and targets the wallets of our school children by hitting schools when techno-lust is at an all-time high, and ability to pay, an all-time low.

"They sold me. They gave the TVs to the school and promised we'd watch them," said Stephanie Lake, a Grade 12 student at Meadowvale Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario, where YNN recently set up a pilot project.

YNN is based on a private broadcast network in the US, Channel 1, which reaches over 12,000 students daily. Advertisers pay $200,000 US for a 30-second ad. That's because students watching are a captive audience and schools that sign up, agree to tune in and turn on pre-packaged programming and commercials every day like Nike, Coca-cola, Nintendo.

YNN is NOT a free deal. YNN costs.

Every school that signs up hands over 12.5 minutes each day of teaching time to canned programming. That adds up to more than 7 days per year, time paid for by tax dollars, needed by schoolteachers, to prepare our students for tomorrow.

Every school that signs up agrees to let YNN access the school and the equipment both after school and on non-school days. YNN wants to run distance education courses to corporations at huge profits. Why should YNN be allowed to use school property and resources-paid for with public tax dollars-free?

There are lots of alternatives that don't cost schools a thing: Cable in the Classroom is fully endorsed by the Society and it is free.

Read the next Manitoba Teacher for more details on this scam or check out the Society's website.

If your school has been approached, please contact the Society and let us know. If you need further information, contact Clare Keating, Communications, MTS, 888-7961, ext. 268 or email:

YNN: trading in our kids for technology.