SECU Members Provide Additional Funding for Comprehensive Educational Film Series about North Carolina!

G. Mark Twisdale, Executive Director
SECU Foundation
919 839-5180

September 15, 2011 – SECU Foundation is pleased to announce that State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) members have provided an additional $125,000 in funding to the Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to support the UNC-TV series Exploring North Carolina (ENC).  This is the third installment in the Foundation’s $375,000 grant to assist with production of the comprehensive educational program that highlights the State’s great natural wonders.

The Emmy-nominated series first aired in 2005 and is set to finish filming its last full season in 2012.  As one of the most popular and most widely aired programs on UNC-TV, ENC has become a North Carolina “field guide” for visitors and new arrivals to the State.  The series also serves as a tremendous educational resource of North Carolina science and history for teachers across the State.  In fact, with the opening of the Museum of Natural Science’s Nature Research Center (NRC) and the SECU Daily Planet slated for Spring 2012, the story of North Carolina’s natural past will continue for years to come.  Through video, radio and internet capabilities of the NRC, Exploring North Carolina’s more than 60 episodes will be enjoyed by students in all counties of North Carolina.  SECU Daily Planet, the centerpiece of the NRC, will be a three-story multimedia program area that will employ cutting edge audio and visual technologies to provide a rich backdrop for live presentations on key environmental issues and recent scientific discoveries.

 Dr. Betsy Bennett, Director of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences states, “Exploring North Carolina takes its viewers on exciting high-definition video journeys, filled with stimulating educational content and high quality production values.  The grant from the SECU Foundation will not only make possible the continued production of this series by Joe Albea and Tom Earnhardt but it will preserve the archival quality, high-definition images of plants, animals and ecosystems along with numerous interviews with North Carolina scientists, educators and naturalists collected by Natural World Productions, LLC.”

“On behalf of the Friends of the Museum, we are genuinely grateful to the members of SECU and the SECU Foundation for their generous support of this televised educational programming – an integral part of the Museum’s extended outreach across the State,” adds Tom Earnhardt, Board President of the Friends of the Museum and co-producer, writer and host of ENC.

SECU Foundation Board Chair Shirley Bell comments, “Exploring North Carolina is a valuable educational resource available to every citizen of our State and to anyone who wants to learn more about the great place we are fortunate to call home.  The Foundation is pleased to provide funding for the production of ENC, and this programming will live on for many future generations through another wonderful SECU Foundation project, the SECU Daily Planet.  We are proud to partner with the Friends of the Museum to help continue this wonderful series.”

About SECU and the SECU Foundation

SECU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members. SECU has been providing the employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for over 70 years. Currently serving nearly 1.7 million members, SECU provides services through 238 branch offices, about 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 call centers and a website, The SECU Foundation, a 501c (3) charitable organization funded solely by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of education, health and human services.

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