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OXON HILL TEACHER WINS JUST DO IT TEACHERS' GRANT FROM NIKE AND NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF EDUCATION

 OXON HILL, Md., Nov. 23 ~PRNewswire~ -- Ted Fedders, a teacher at Owens Road Elementary, 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. The grant of $10,000 will fund Fedders' Rising Stars 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 teachers who design programs that address the needs of children who are having problems in school -- problems that may put them at risk of dropping out later on. This year's grants, ranging from $3,000 to $18,000, are funding teachers in 17 states. Rising Stars had its origins in the TOPS program, a program initiated by Christine Johns, then a teacher at Oakcrest Elementary (another Prince George's County Public School). Johns received a Just Do It grant of $8,900 in 1991 to support the TOPS program.
 Teachers involved in Rising Stars are tackling two of the toughest challenges facing schools today -- increasing the number of African- American boys who graduate from high school, and sparking students' interest in math and science.
 The program is made up of three parts, and the overall goals of the program are to boost the performance and self-esteem of students, and get parents involved in their children's education. Each part of the program is designed to address certain problems -- low test scores, poor attendance, low grade point averages, discipline referrals, and incomplete homework and class-work assignments -- problems that traditionally result in children dropping out of school.
 The first part, PACK (Preparing All Children for Kindergarten), provides 12 one-hour training sessions for parents who have children starting kindergarten this year. During the sessions, parents learn how they can help ready their child to cope with the socially and academic pressures they'll face in school. The children attend the sessions with their parents and receive a "backPACK" to bring each week. As the parents and their children learn new skills, they receive materials to put in their backPACKs to work on together at home.
 A group of first, second and third graders participate in the Gramps and Grannies Program. Senior citizens from the County Council on Aging spend two to three hours a week in the school helping 30 children improve their reading and math skills. The students and seniors also spend time writing and producing books using computers.
 The third part of Rising Stars is TOPS (Technology Opportunities Promoting Success). TOPS gives 30 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students and their parents a chance to participate in special science and math sessions that include everything from chemistry and electricity lessons to studying robots. Students from Potomac High School, along with African-American engineers from NASA, assist in the science and math instruction and serve as mentors and role models for the children.
 Parents are invited to attend workshops and field trips with their children. The trips take them to places such as Goddard Space Flight Center, the Howard B. Owens Science Center and the Prince George's County Community College.
 Fedders began teaching in Prince George's County in 1969, and has taught mainly fourth, fifth and sixth grades. Currently he is teaching science, math and technology. Fedders is also certified as a computer consultant, a family life and human development instructor, and as an environmental education instructor. He is a member of the Prince George's County Education Association, and is a member and delegate to the Maryland State Teachers Association and the National Education Association. He is also a member of the National Science Teachers 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: Photo available upon request~
 ~CONTACT: Judy Hogeson of NFIE, 202-822-7840; or Virginia Hensen of NIKE, 503-671-6453; or Ted Fedders of Owens Road Elementary, 301-894-8966~
 (NKE)


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

JH-JH -- SE007 -- 0449 11~23~92 11:17 EST
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Date:Nov 23, 1992
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