Two radio stations — one in New York City, one in Birmingham, Ala. — are being recognized for particular service to their communities.
The NAB Education Foundation named winners of its Service to America Awards; the stations will be honored at an event in Washington in June.
Saluted for service to children is Cox Media Group radio station WBHJ(FM) in Birmingham, Ala. “WBHJ has put the spotlight on Birmingham’s youth, making it their mission to promote education and community involvement, and answer to children in need,” NABEF wrote.
“Through on-air promotions, liners and live and recorded breaks, WBHJ supported a plethora of initiatives such as the annual Back to School Rally, which supplies disadvantaged children with school supplies, and Diploma Day, in partnership with The Maranathan Academy, to encourage high school drop-outs to enroll in programs to obtain their GEDs.”
“At the holidays, through Project Santa, WBHJ provided children in need with Christmas gifts. WBHJ also played a role in prevention, with on-air personalities visiting schools to speak about the importance of education and libraries to read to children as part of the summer Jamz Reading Program. In addition, WBHJ put an emphasis on creativity and community involvement by featuring sports teams, inviting youth to take over the JAMZ station for one night and through a Fall Festival for children and families.”
NABEF also honored WBLS(FM), the ICBC Broadcasting Holdings station in New York, for service to community.
“A lack of awareness and education about health has negatively affected the African-American community,” NABEF wrote. “WBLS has strived to turn this around by creating a Community Health Initiative to bring health-related issues into the public eye.
“To raise awareness, WBLS provided listeners with a Health Minute covering such topics as high blood pressure, diabetes and sickle cell anemia. WBLS also placed calls to action, partnering with the Red Cross and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. to hold blood drives and raise awareness around blood shortages. Together, they collected enough blood to save over 3,000 lives.”
“Other initiatives, such as the bone marrow drive, resulted in 400 donor registrations. WBLS, in partnership with the Harlem Chamber of Commerce, helped raise community awareness through the 5k Walk/Run for Health and also partnered with NBC 4 and New York Nonstop to host a Nonstop Day of Giving, raising close to $195,000 for City Harvest, equivalent to 720,000 pounds of food for those in need.”