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

 PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 23 ~PRNewswire~ -- Denise Johnson, a teacher at Benjamin Franklin High School, 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 announced today. The grant of $5,000 will fund Johnson's Students In Transition 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. Johnson is a two-time Just Do It Teachers' Grant winner. She received a grant of $19,992 in 1991.
 "For many of our students who started the program last fall, there was an underlying belief that a high school diploma was worthless. Our challenge was to create a program that not only addressed their academic needs, but made them feel like they belonged, that teachers cared about them, and that their peers valued them," Johson said.
 Students in Transition reaches out to Benjamin High students who may be at risk of dropping out of school -- students with a poor academic record, poor attendence and punctuality, and discipline problems. The program also has a special component that focuses on teen parents -- a group that faces the additional challenges of raising a child while trying to meet school requirements.
 Johnson hopes to reduce the number of teen parents who are forced to put off completing their education. To do this, Students in Transition offers parenting education classes to ninth-through 12th-grade teen parents. The classes cover a wide range of child-care issues, such as the development of babies, nutrition education, and parenting skills.
 Johnson also established a day-care facility for children of students that provides teen parents with medical, social and health care services. The day-care center is also used to train students who are interested in working in the child-care field and those planning to attend college to become early childhood or elementary school teachers.
 Every student in the program is assigned a mentor. Johnson recruited employees at Coopers & Lybrand, an international accounting firm based in Philadelphia, to serve as mentors. The mentors meet with students during lunch to provide encouragement and advice. All students also attend two-hour Saturday morning tutuorials where they are given assistance in English, math, science or social studies.
 Humanities classes are an important part of the program. Community~school service class allows students to earn extra credit by working after school on a variety school and community projects. Knowing Yourself is a class that helps students improve their self-esteem and develop ways of coping and excelling in school and life. Ningth-graders in the program are required to take Human Development, a course that teaches human sexuality, nutrition, health education and units on self-esteem and career development.
 Some of the seniors in the program are asked to serve as mentors and the leaders for incoming ninth-graders. They help the younger students adjust to the pressures of adolescence and academic demands. Parents of students involved in the program are recruited to join the Parent Involvement Corps to learn how to work with their children on school work at home, improve communication between themselves and their children and build their children's self-esteem.
 A resident of Elkins Park, Pa., Johnson has taught seventh through 12th grades in the Philadelphia area since 1972. Along with her duties as coordinator of the Students in Transition program, Johnson oversees the Cities in Schools program at Benjamin Franklin. Johnson received a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Cheyney State University, a master's degree in educational psychology from Temple University, and a secondary principal certification from Cheyney State University.
 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 Hodgeson of NFIE, 202-822-7840; or Virginia Hensen of NIKE, 503-671-6453; or Denise Johnson of Benjamin Franklin High School, 215-299-4662~
 (NKE)


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

SM-LM -- SE004 -- 0447 11~23~92 11:15 EST
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Date:Nov 23, 1992
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