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COMICS COMBAT ILLITERACY

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Mother Goose & Grimm, Funky Winkerbean, Crankshaft and the Born Loser today joined Ask Shagg in the fight against illiteracy in Ohio.
 The four nationally syndicated comic strips will be used in newspaper ads across Ohio in a campaign promoting literacy. Shagg has already been appearing in the first round of published ads.
 The creators of the strips, based in Ohio, donated their services to the campaign. They are Mike Peters (Mother Goose & Grimm) from Dayton; Tom Batiuk (Funky Winkerbean) from Cleveland; Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers (Crankshaft), with Ayers from Akron; and Chip Sansom (Born Loser) from Cleveland. Peter Guren (Ask Shagg) lives near Cleveland.
 The Literacy Campaign is sponsored by the Ohio Literacy Network (OLN), the Ohio Newspaper Association (ONA) and the Ohio Electric Utility Institute (OEUI). The three organizations today announced that the program has been extended through 1993.
 Governor Voinovich kicked off the campaign last July by declaring an Ohio Literacy 2000 Week. He praised the three organizations for this cooperative effort to help solve a crucial problem plaguing Ohio.
 The ads began appearing July 26 and feature cartoons with a message on illiteracy and a hot line (1-800-228-READ) that Ohioans can call toll-free for a referral to a local literacy program. This is to sign up for a course or to volunteer to teach in a program.
 More than 100 calls were placed to the toll-free hotline in the first few days of the campaign. Each time the ads appear, more calls are made and more Ohioans are helped.
 Roland Patzer, president of the OLN, said the OLN is delighted to continue this program for a second year. "The establishment of the hotline has enabled the network to match providers and students in every area of the state."
 William C. Barnard, president of the ONA, said Ohio newspapers are "very proud to be helping in this important effort." Barnard is director of public affairs for The Plain Dealer. The ads have already run in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Toledo, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati along with many other communities. So far over 2,000 inches of advertising space have been donated by Ohio newspapers in the campaign.
 Lyman C. Phillips, chairman and president of OEUI, said, "The electric utility industry in Ohio is working hard to solve the problem of illiteracy in this state, which takes a daily toll on business and industry. OEUI and its member companies are pleased to be part of this campaign to promote literacy."
 -0- 2/18/93
 /CONTACT: Roger Dyer of the Ohio Literacy Network, 614-464-7384/


CO: Ohio Literacy Network ST: Ohio IN: SU:

BM -- CL019 -- 8055 02/18/93 16:05 EST
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Date:Feb 18, 1993
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