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TWO VIRGINIA SCHOOLS WIN $1.1 MILLION FOR PIONEERING REFORM EFFORTS

TWO VIRGINIA SCHOOLS WIN $1.1 MILLION FOR PIONEERING REFORM EFFORTS
 WASHINGTON, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The RJR Nabisco Foundation today awarded more than $1.1 million to Rappahannock Elementary School in Sperryville, Va., and Carl Sandburg Intermediate in Alexandria, Va., to fund bold new education initiatives aimed at improving student performance.
 Rappahannock and Sandburg are two of just 14 schools nationwide to receive grants in RJR Nabisco's Next Century Schools competition. Each winning school received up to $750,000 to develop and run dramatically different educational approaches over the next three years. More than 1,100 schools competed for a share of this year's $9 million in grant money.
 "It takes true courage to risk change in tough economic times. Instead of retreating to the relative security of the status quo, these pioneering educators are demonstrating that it is not only desirable but possible to fight for fundamental change in education," said Louis V. Gerstner Jr., chairman and CEO of RJR Nabisco, Inc.
 The Next Century Schools program invests in educators who have devised radically different educational approaches to meet the needs of their students. Last fall, RJR Nabisco challenged front-line educators to devise and submit revolutionary proposals that would improve student performance and demonstrate the potential for adaptation by other communities throughout the nation.
 Members of the Next Century Schools advisory board, which includes Keith Geiger, president of the National Education Association; Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers; former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean; and Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, selected the winning schools.
 The failure rate at Sandburg is 12.5 percent per year. Project Achievement will give students more time and involvement in the school community by extending the school day by two hours, three days per week, and providing a seven week summer session. The project pulls together community volunteers and county service agencies and is designed to assist parents in helping students perform better. The program uses alternative teaching methods and group activities to bolster basic skills and give students a sense of involvement in the school.
 Rappahannock will develop a fourth grade computerized and interactive instructional process for math, science and social studies to allow for more consistent teaching and improved quality control.
 Since launching Next Century Schools in 1989, RJR Nabisco has invested $30 million in the pioneering efforts of 43 schools. The 1992 winners will be the last class of schools to participate in the program.
 "The goal of the Next Century Schools program is to make both an individual and collective difference in public education. As a result, we must take what we know to work in a single school and help spread that success to other communities searching for answers. In a few years, we anticipate that many of this year's winners will offer effective educational alternatives for countless communities across the nation," said Roger D. Semerad, president of the RJR Nabisco Foundation.
 -0- 4/14/92
 /CONTACT: Tracey Riese of RJR Nabisco, 212-258-5779, or David Sandor of Powell Tate, 202-434-8541, for RJR Nabisco/ CO: RJR Nabisco ST: Virginia IN: SU:


TW -- DC007 -- 8104 04/14/92 09:20 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 14, 1992
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