In the United States, 42 percent of children of Hispanic descent drop out of high school. Thatís a statistic that KDUT-FM, KTUB-AM, KBMG-FM and KBTU-TV in Salt Lake City, Utah, are trying to change. The stations have launched a group-wide effort targeted at keeping kids in school. Each month, nearly 100 public service announcements air on the four stations. Messaging focuses on staying in school; alternative educational programs, such as the general equivalency diploma and night school; and stopping drug abuse and teen pregnancy, two issues that often lead to an end in formal education. The stations produce the announcements in-house with prominent Hispanic leaders, educators and doctors from the area. In addition, topics related to education and staying in school are regularly covered in public affairs programming. Principals have been interviewed about scholarship programs, law enforcement has talked about the dangers of drug abuse and Planned Parenthood has provided information on teen pregnancy. Bustos Media, the Spanish-language radio and television company that owns all four stations, also supports education by contributing both funds and airtime to the Utah Chamber of Commerce Scholarship, which has grown more than 300 percent over the last four years, and now provides assistance to 20 students each year.
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