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Qualcomm Becomes Lead Sponsor of News Literacy Project’s D.C. Expansion

Qualcomm Inc., a San Diego-based world leader in 3G and next-generation mobile technologies, has become the lead sponsor of the News Literacy Project’s expansion into Washington, D.C.

NLP will launch its partnership with E.L. Haynes Public Charter School with an event at the school on Sept. 6 featuring journalist Gwen Ifill, the moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and senior correspondent for “PBS NewsHour.”

“With the generous support of Qualcomm, a company with a deep commitment to education, we are eager to begin NLP’s expansion into Washington, D.C., and to giving students there the critical tools they need to make good use of the information that bombards them in the digital age,” said John S. Carroll, the former editor of Los Angeles Times and the chairman of NLP’s board.

Qualcomm, which has a longstanding commitment to education and connecting students with opportunities for learning, is providing financial support for NLP’s program in the nation’s capital as well as its partnerships with Walt Whitman High School and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, both in Bethesda, Md.

“Collaborating with NLP is significant for Qualcomm, as education is an issue of national importance, as well as to our business,” said Greg Farmer, Vice President, Federal Government Affairs, for Qualcomm.  “As a country, we are educating the next generation of scientists, inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs.  With increased access to educational content and new portals to learning and information, students need the analytical tools to recognize news and information that will make them well-informed.”

Qualcomm executives will take part in the kickoff event at E.L. Haynes as well as a Fall Forum event on Oct. 19 at Walt Whitman High School featuring columnists David Brooks of The New York Times and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post. The Washington Post is also a sponsor.

Participants in the Sept. 6 program at E.L. Haynes will include Qualcomm’s Farmer and Federal Communications Commissioner Michael J. Copps, a strong proponent of news literacy. Ifill, a member of NLP’s board, is also the author of the 2009 best-seller The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. She has covered six presidential campaigns and moderated the vice presidential debates in 2004 and 2008.

At E.L. Haynes, one of Washington’s most highly regarded charter schools, NLP is working with teacher Eliza Ford to introduce the project’s original curriculum to about 50 students in two 8th-grade classes.

“NLP will provide our students with the critical thinking and analytical skills they need to be successful in college and in life,” said Jennifer C. Niles, E.L. Haynes’ founder and head of school. “Participation in this project will help E.L. Haynes fulfill our mission.”

The 2011-2012 school year will mark NLP’s third full year in classrooms. The project expects to work with about 35 English, government, history and humanities teachers to reach more than 2,000 students in more than 20 schools in New York City, Chicago, Bethesda and Washington.