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

 SAN DIEGO, Nov. 23 ~PRNewswire~ -- Karen Palmer, a teacher at Doris Miller Elementary 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 said today. The grant of $13,000 will fund Palmer's R.E.A.C.H. Program, or Reach Each At-risk Child At Home, 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.
 Most of the 1,089 children attending Doris Miller Elementary live in surrounding military hs?ing. Many of their families function as one- parent households because the other parent may be away for months at a time on naval duty. Records show that less than 75 percent of students in the school complete the entire school year.
 Palmer believes that the staff at Miller Elementary can help these children adjust to school, improve their attendance, and decrease their chances of dropping out later by reaching out to parents. She created Project R.E.A.C.H. to empower parents to continue their child's learning at home.
 "Absenteeism affects students' academic performances. We need to intervene so that as the children move from school to school and are absent for long periods of time, parents can support their learning at home," Palmer said.
 R.E.A.C.H. involves 14 teachers in training sessions that help them develop strategies for increasing the achievement and self-esteem of students. Sessions deal with military life, cultural differences, single-parent families, dysfunctional families, meeting the different learning styles of children and developing effective communications between parents and the school.
 After the training, teachers attend a series of workshops where they develop materials for parents and children to use for "home learning." Then the teachers begin to visit the homes of the kindergarten through third-grade students who are falling behind and may be at risk of dropping out of school later. During the visits, the teachers show the parents how to use the learning materials and encourage them to visit the Parent Resource Center in the school to sign out additional items.
 Palmer hopes that by next year 75 percent of the targeted students will show an improvement in attendance and performance. She expects that over the coming years, the program will expand to include more teachers and children in all grade levels.
 Palmer has been a teacher at Doris Miller Elementary since 1975. She also teaches in the San Diego Community College District and is a specialist in language and curriculum development. Palmer received a bachelor's degree in English from San Diego State College, and a master's in early childhood education from San Diego State University. She is a member of the National Education Association, California Teachers Association, San Diego Teachers Association and the Greater San Diego Math Council.
 Other teachers participating in the program are: Bev Clay-McNamara, Lauren Crum, Dean Joyner-Stokes, Edie Gladden, Lori Moss, Elesfine Powell, Jackie Long, Dee Snyder, Diane Ashe, Stephanie Weurding, Carol Dinal, Shari Christy and Jim Hilley.
 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 EDITOR: Photo 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 Karen Palmer of Doris Miller Elementary School, 619-496-8319~
 (NKE)


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

LB-JH -- SE013 -- 0493 11~23~92 11:50 EST
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Date:Nov 23, 1992
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