LATHAM, N.Y. - The New York Credit Union Foundation is not only reaching out to the state's youth but also providing a civics lesson to boot. Billed as "a mobile civic campaign", the Speak Up! NY tour kicks off with a CyberCar, which is a specially equipped "high tech" bus with interactive elements to encourage youth participation in government, and ends with a Youth Town Meeting on PBS stations. The credit union brand logo will be used prominently throughout the 21-city tour, and will be seen in sponsorship messages on the TV broadcasts. Some of the highlights of the tour include the following:
*A billboard-sized viewing screen emerges from the bus at its stops.
*Intensive two-hour seminars help participants prepare a Youth Agenda.
*Professional TV journalists offer media training.
*Attendees are videotaped asking questions and sending messages to candidates for governor and other offices.
*A number of legislators and candidates will attend.
*Live computer access to the Speak Up! Web page is available for message posting and polling is offered to attendees.
*Voter registration information tables will be on site. In addition, a "Digital Youth Town Meeting" will be recorded the week of Oct. 20, using interactive technology to link four cities across New York. The program, which will include material gathered on the CyberTour, will spark a discussion among youth participants and gubernatorial candidates. The program will be broadcast the following week through a network of New York PBS affiliates. Speak Up! sessions will be held from Sept. 26 through Oct. 19, in cities from New York to Buffalo. In each of the locations, credit unions may contribute and participate through many ways including donations of money or materials, staffing a table, offering giveaways to attendees, or making other arrangements to ensure the success of the stop. Credit union sponsors are still needed for locations including New York, New Paltz, Binghamton, Cortland, Ithaca, Syracuse, Oswego, Buffalo, Staten Island, Rochester, the Capital region, Poughkeepsie, Tarrytown, and White Plains. For more information on Speak Up! NY, contact Foundation Executive Director Frank Kerbein at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 342-9835, ext. 8107.