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GRAND RAPIDS TEACHER WINS SECOND JUST DO IT TEACHERS' GRANT FROM NIKE AND NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF EDUCATION

 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Nov. 23 ~PRNewswire~ -- Ron Yob, a teacher in Westbridge Academy's Native American Learning Center, is one of 20 teachers across the country to receive a Just Do It Teachers' Grant from the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education (NFIE) and NIKE Inc. (NYSE: NKE; PSE), NIKE said today. The grant of $6,500 will fund Yob's Drop In~Not Out Program, a stay-in-school initiative.
 Just Do It Teachers' Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000 over a two-year period, and are awarded to educators who design programs that motivate students to stay in school and achieve academic success. This year's grants, ranging from $3,000 to $18,000, are funding teachers in 17 states. Yob is a two-time Just Do It Teachers' Grant winner. He received a grant of $10,236 in 1991.
 Family responsibilities and ties in surrounding cities frequently remove the school's Native American students from Grand Rapids for weeks at a time. When they return, overwhelmed with catch-up work or bored and frustrated with unchallenging material, many drop out of school. They become part of the 80 percent of Native American students who drop out of school nationwide. The Drop In~Not Out program provides a culturally sensitive learning environment that's challenging, supportive, and keeps students in school.
 Drop In~Not Out allows Yob to create an individualized, computerized curriculum for each of the 35 seventh- through 12th grade students attending the Center. "The students vary in their academic achievement from third-grade reading and math levels to post-high school. Because their cultural and family obligations require them to come and go, we needed a way to keep track of where they are in their studies. That way, when they return they can begin where they left off," Yob said.
 Yob divides the students' studies into units that allow them to earn credits as each unit is completed. Yob keeps track of their progress and the number of credits they've earned on a computer. Technology also helps Yob effectively teach individual lessons to all of his students. "Thirty-five students, each working individually and at different paces on different materials, is more than one teacher can handle. Technology gives me the capacity to meet the learning needs of all of my students," Yob said.
 Yob is using his second Just Do It Teachers' grant to acquire additional computers and software packages that enhance students' individual studies. He is also using the new technology to record important records for the students -- birth certificates, travel records, social security numbers -- documents that often get misplaced as the students move back and forth between cities.
 Yob began his work with Native American students in 1974 as a Native American service specialist in the Grand Rapids Public Schools. Since then, he has worked in summer youth camps, as a teacher at the Owashanong Anishawbe Alternative School and as a Native American specialist before entering his current position. Yob serves as vice chairperson of the Kent~Grand Rapids Community Action Program, as a member of the Grand Rapids Historic Commission and the Indian Mound Commission, and as a member of the board of directors of the Grand Rapids Intertribal Council. Yob received a bachelor's degree from Grand Valley State University and has completed graduate work at Grand Valley State and Central Michigan Universities. He is a member of the National Education Association, Michigan Education Association and the Grand Rapids Education Association.
 NFIE was created in 1969 by the National Education Association, and is supported by Association members, foundations, corporations and other individuals. The Foundation promotes excellence in teaching and learning by empowering educators to meet the educational needs of all students.
 The business-education partnership between NFIE and NIKE was forged with a multi-year $1 million contribution to NFIE from NIKE.
 "The teachers leading these programs are putting hope back into the lives of thousands of children, many of whom encounter obstacles to learning before they ever enter a classroom. These teachers are working to give all children a chance to be successful," said NFIE Executive Director Donna Rhodes.
 "Without support from NIKE, NFIE's drop out prevention efforts would be limited. And the number of students who drop out could easily exceed the 25 percent nationwide who leave school before graduation."
 NIKE is the world's leading manufacturer of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories. The company devotes three-fourths of its philanthropic budget to inner-city youth programs that emphasize improving education.
 -0- 11~23~92
 ~NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos available upon request~
 ~CONTACT: Judy Hodgeson of the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education, 202-822-7840; or Virginia Hensen of NIKE, 503-671-6453; or Ron Yob of the Native American Learning Center, 616-771-3242~
 (NKE)


CO: NIKE Inc.; National Foundation for the Improvement of Education ST: Michigan IN: SU:

TB-JH -- SE006 -- 0443 11~23~92 11:13 EST
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Date:Nov 23, 1992
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