By Seth Arenstein The CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula says his local cable operator talked about bridging the digital divide long before the expression entered the vernacular. And Cox of Hampton Roads didn’t just talk. It joined a Boys and Girls Club program to provide Internet access to kids without computers in their homes. A cable programmer augments its series about drug and alcohol abuse with town hall meetings about intervention. A woman contacts A&E chief Abbe Raven in tears. "You saved my life," she says. In Setauket, N.Y., a teacher takes students on an unusual field trip—to a cemetery, where they research who preceded them. Cablevision promotes the project online. The History Channel’s Save Our History initiative awards the school a $10,000 prize, not to mention a trip (for the teacher and students) to Washington, D.C. Cable in the Classroom recognizes the teacher, too. A teacher is overwhelmed when honored for her innovation during Time Warner Cable’s 17th annual National Teacher Awards. She explains her students are so poor, they won’t get breakfast if they don’t attend school. Tears well up when another teacher is cited for a project on veterans that resulted in his students raising thousands for a memorial to a former student, killed in Iraq. An African documentary maker spends 30 days at a clinic in Zambia where he finds that AIDS has made living past 30 a rarity. Discovery Times Channel and its cable affiliates carry Sorious Samura’s On the Frontlines of AIDS in the U.S. Cable Positive honors the film at its POP Awards while raising a record $68,000 from cable toward educating and so eradicating this killer. These examples of operators and programmers educating and improving were heard recently at awards ceremonies in Washington, D.C., and New York City. You know, the events you want to avoid after a long workday. Departing fatigued and inspired, one thought is uppermost: Who else but cable? And you wonder, does cable hold too many awards ceremonies? No way.

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