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Peanut Butter Corps Spreads the News

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They have interviewed Maureen Reagan, the racecar driver Johnny Rutherford, and Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana.

They covered President Reagan's inaugural ceremonies in Washington, D.C., three years ago and were at a news conference given by Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell at the national summit on education in Indianapolis last month.

Reporters from The New York Times? Writers from the Associated Press? No, this entourage of aspiring journalists is the Peanut Butter Press corps.

Started by Barbara Poore, an unemployed elementary-school teacher who could not find a teaching position in Indianapolis three years ago, the Peanut Butter Press publishes a 12-page monthly tabloid on elementary education, which is also called The Peanut Butter Press.

Ms. Poore, who runs the nonprofit corporation out of her home, says she wanted to extend students' language-arts experiences beyond the classroom and to give them the opportunity to write, learn about public speaking, and meet interesting people.

Articles in the paper are written by 4th- through 8th-grade students who are chosen randomly from Indianapolis-area elementary schools, according to Ms. Poore. After the articles are researched and written, they are printed and delivered by the truckload to local schools, which distribute the free paper to 80,000 students.

The corporation, says Ms. Poore, is funded by advertising from local merchants and national groups like the Campfire Girls, and by grants and contributions.

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