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Talking With Kids About Tough Issues
"Triple Team Partnership"
Press Release

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 14, 2000

Athletes Team Up to Urge Bay Area Parents to Talk with Their Kids about Tough Issues
New Effort to be Launched at Warriors Game Tonight

OAKLAND, CA--Antawn Jamison (Golden State Warriors), Gil Heredia (Oakland Athletics) and Rich Gannon (Oakland Raiders) are joining forces to bring a special message to Bay Area parents. Children Now, a national child advocacy organization, is launching the Triple Team Partnership, a year-long initiative involving an unprecedented mix of media related events and corporate and community partnerships. Based on the national Talking with Kids about Tough Issues campaign, which encourages parents to communicate with their kids asyoung as 8 to 12 years old about sensitive issues like sex, violence, drugs, alcohol and HIV/AIDS, this partnership marks the first time the three Alameda County professional sports franchises have joined together to promote a public service message.

The official kick-off for the campaign will take place during a Golden State Warriors home game on Thursday, December 14. The first 5,000 fans in attendance at the game will receive a free 2001 Talking with Kids calendar featuring the three players, along with monthly tips for parents to talk with their children. Warriors star Antawn Jamison will also deliver a message about the importance of the campaign during a special halftime presentation at the game.

Oakland Raiders star quarterback Rich Gannon will be the first Triple Team Partner to be featured in a Talking with Kids public service announcement, to air locally beginning this fall. The spot features Gannon encouraging parents to "tackle tough issues, before they tackle your kids." Each athlete is also featured in the special Talking with Kids 2001 calendar and will appear at various campaign related events.

"The holidays are a great time to begin talking with our kids," said Lois Salisbury, president of Children Now. "This special time is all about family gatherings and shared values. This season we encourage parents to use some family time to communicate openly with their kids."

In addition to the sports teams, nearly two dozen Bay Area corporations and community organizations are sponsoring this effort by hosting events, placing campaign materials in customer mailings or special promotions throughout 2001. Many of these groups, like YMCA of the East Bay, Girls Inc. and the Spanish Speaking Unity Council will provide free parenting workshops in the communities they serve. Others have donated media space to carry the campaign message. AC Transit and BART will run ads on buses and trains, while Safeway stores will place the campaign's "ten tips" on customers' grocery bags throughout the region.

With one of the largest child populations in California, the Bay Area ranks high in cases of teen pregnancy, violence among youth and many other risk factors for children. Existing research indicates the best way parents can prevent their kids from participating in such risky behavior is by talking with their kids while they are still young.

"Parents of young children have the important chance to be the first people to share information about these issues with their kids," said Lois Salisbury. "This is the time when kids are becoming aware of the world around them and want more information from their parents. By the time they reach the teenage years, they tend to look as much to peers and others sources when they have questions."

The Talking with Kids campaign, sponsored by Children Now and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, debuted in 1997. The national effort has featured public service announcements featuring President Clinton, Kobe Bryant, Gloria Estefan and 'NSYNC, encouraging parents to call the campaign's toll free number 1-800-CHILD-44 or visit its Web site for a FREE parenting booklet. The booklet offers specific tips on how to start these difficult conversations and make sure they keep happening. In the four years of the campaign, over 500,000 booklets in English and Spanish have been distributed.

Suggested sidebar: Additional Talking with Kids tips include: Start early, initiate conversations, create an open environment, use everyday opportunities, address fears, communicate values, listen, give the facts and try to be honest.

Complete Triple Team sponsors list: Alameda Alliance for Health, AC Transit, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, Girls Inc., Golden State Warriors, Kaiser Permanente, KRON-TV, Oakland A's, Oakland Raiders, Oakland Unified School District, PG&E, Safeway, Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation, Spanish Speaking Unity Council, West Oakland Health Center, YMCA.


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Talking With Kids About Tough Issues
is a national campaign by
Children Now and the Kaiser Family Foundation