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N.E.H. To Award Summer Grants

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The National Endowment for the Humanities last week announced a $66.1-million grants program for the coming year that will not only extend the agency's summer institutes for teachers (see Education Week, Aug. 24, 1983), but will also introduce summer programs for secondary-school principals and students.

The new round of grants also includes funding for a program to prepare elementary-school teachers to teach Homer's Odyssey.

The neh awarded $120,000 to Boston University to conduct a 1984 summer institute and extensive follow-up activities for 30 high-school principals. Those chosen to attend the institute will examine major texts from the Graeco-Roman tradition, the Judeo-Christian heritage, and the history of the United States. The goal of the program, endowment officials say, is to prepare school principals to be leaders in humanities education.

A $230,000 neh grant to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., will enable the university to host a national institute next summer that will prepare elementary-school teachers to teach Homer's Odyssey. During the school year, the institute's work will be continued in regional meetings for the teachers and in visits to their classes by the institute's instructors and other classical scholars.

Another neh grant--to the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore--will provide $60,000 to establish a four-week summer institute for high-school students entering their senior year. The institute will explore ''fate and will in Western literature."

The endowment will also sponsor a "special initiative for children's media" that is based on the conviction of William J. Bennett, the endowment's director, that "young people should be exposed to the best of the humanities not only in schools but also through mass media," according to neh officials.

Boston's public-broadcasting station, wgbh, has been awarded $110,000 to write and produce 13 half-hour radio programs dramatizing and interpreting classical, Biblical, and Near-Eastern myths for children aged 9 to 14.

The program will be included in the station's "Spider's Web" radio series.--sr

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