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NORFOLK TEACHER WINS JUST DO IT TEACHERS' GRANT FROM NIKE AND NFIE

 NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 23 ~PRNewswire~ -- Steven Errante, an adaptive physical education teacher in the Norfolk Public School System, 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). The grant of $14,000 will fund Errante's We Can Do It 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.
 We Can Do It is a special summer program for 12 students involved in Norfolk's Intensive Probation Program. The students include boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 18. The program works to increase their self-esteem and decrease their chances of dropping out of school.
 "Because summer vacation doesn't offer any structured, productive activities, the unused time may increase the chances that students on probation will drop out of school and return to the juvenile justice system," Errante says.
 The program lasts all summer. Students attend class five days a week from 8:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. During that time, they participate in outdoor and nature activities, various sports, an Initiative Course, and complete a group project.
 The Initiative Course helps the students improve their decision- making skills, boosts their self-esteem and teaches them to develop trust in others and work in group situations. Individual and group sports offer competitive and non-competitive activities.
 The group project requires students to make a video tape on "Alternative Choices." The video will be used to encourage other students to take responsibility for themselves and make healthy choices in their own lives.
 "The summer program's activities strengthen students' decision- making skills, helps them think more positively about themselves, and enhances their ability to find a place in the community," Errante says.
 Throughout the program, students develop and maintain a personal profile that records their goals, personal attributes, skills, career options, and the support network of services available to them. The profiles, along with the video, will be used to deliver a message to other students facing similar crucial life decisions.
 Errante developed the We Can Do It Program as part of a collaborative effort within the city of Norfolk to help all children succeed -- the Norfolk Youth Network. The network consists of six agencies: the public schools, public health office, social services office, the Community Services Board, Juvenile Services Bureau, and Court Services. Its mission is to provide essential services to youth and their families in a way that maximizes the resources available through all of the agencies.
 "Recognition of this program, which is so beneficial to the children of Norfolk, reflects the collaborative efforts of Leslie Arnold, Michael Lewis and Steven Errante," says Virginia Education Association President Robley Jones. "As president of the Virginia Education Association and former teacher in Norfolk's schools, I am very pleased that Norfolk's youth will benefit from this effort."
 Errante has been a program specialist for adaptive physical education in the Norfolk Public Schools since 1982. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Christopher Newport College as a special educator and coach. He earned a B.S.E. in physical education from the State University of New York at Cortland and a master's in adaptive physical education from the University of Connecticut at Storrs.
 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," says NFIE Executive Director Donna Rhodes.
 "Without support from NIKE, NFIE's dropout 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.
 Contact: Steven Errante, Norfolk Public Schools, 800 E. City Hall Ave. D.S.E.S., Norfolk, VA 23501, 804-441-2916. Principal: Dr. Shirley Wilson. District: Norfolk Public Schools.
 -0- 11~23~92
 ~NOTE TO EDITORS: Photo available upon request~
 ~CONTACT: Judy Hodgeson of NFIE, 202-822-7840; or Virginia Hensen of NIKE, 503-671-6453~
 (NKE)


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

ML-SG -- SE017 -- 0476 11~23~92 11:35 EST
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Date:Nov 23, 1992
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