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The dusty pages of school yearbooks may become a thing of the past if the video-tape yearbooks currently in production at several schools in Illinois are successful.

At Alton High School in Alton, Ill., the owners of Copy Cat Video, a small video-production company in the area, have been on hand throughout the school year to record school activities, such as homecoming, sports events, prom, graduation, and day-to-day action.

The video production will "add motion to memories," said Claudia Walters, the firm's director of sales. "When you look at printed pictures, so much is left to the imagination. This just adds to the other senses."

The video-tape yearbook will be available to students at the school for $40, Ms. Walters said, adding that the tapes will be "personalized" with footage of each student receiving his or her diploma.

The company is planning to expand the operation to other high schools next year, Ms. Walters said.

Another company, Video Yearbook Inc., in suburban Chicago also is in its first year of production. Denny Petrick, president of the firm, said "video yearbooks" will be available to students at a number of high schools at the end of the school year.

He said he is spending up to $40,000 a school to provide yearbooks for each class in about 10 schools. The schools are in areas in which market studies sponsored by Mr. Petrick show that 40 percent of the families own video recorders.


Students in Farmington, Conn., don't spend as much time watching television as educators in the community thought they did, according to the results of a survey sponsored by the Farmington school district.

The survey, conducted two months before the town gained national recognition for the "TV Turn-Off" it conducted in January to promote reading and family activities (see Commentary, Education Week, March 28, 1984), shows that students in Farmington spend a maximum of one hour on weekdays and five hours on weekends watching television "to the exclusion of all other activities."

"Television does not seem to be the huge time-consumer that conventional wisdom deems it to be," said Vincent R. Rogers, professor of education at the University of Connecticut, which completed the $2,000 study for the school district.

Almost 70 percent of the students surveyed also said they would like to spend more time in activities with their parents.

The survey was based on logs kept by 179 students in grades 3, 6, 7, and 9 over a two-week period last fall.


CBS television stations in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and St. Louis have "adopted" public schools in their cities.

According to CBS officials, the television stations are working on various projects with the schools.

While most are still are being planned, in Chicago, WBBM-tv already is working with students at Corliss High School to produce a news show using the school's closed-circuit television facilities.--cc

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