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Application Guidelines Issued for Grants For AIDS Education

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WASHINGTON--The Department of Health and Human Services has issued application guidelines for school systems and national health and education organizations seeking grants under the AIDS-education program administered by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

A total of $6.5 million in "cooperative agreements'' will be awarded this year to agencies that can increase the number of AIDS-education programs reaching youths in and out of school, according to a notice published in the April 21 Federal Register.

Of that amount, $5.1 million will go to about 10 state education agencies and 12 local education agencies to stimulate AIDS-education measures that are "locally determined, consistent with community values, and appropriate to community needs.''

The C.D.C. will give priority to applications from agencies in cities and states with the highest incidence of AIDS cases.

To be eligible, education agencies at the state level--including the District of Columbia and U.S. territories--must serve areas in which at least 200 AIDS cases have been reported. Those at the local level must serve populations where a total of 150 or more cases of AIDS have been reported.

The grants announcement stresses the need to provide information to school-age youths before they "make behavior choices that unknowingly place them at risk for contracting and spreading the AIDS virus.''

As of March 2, it states, 32,000 confirmed cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome had been reported in the United States, with an estimated 1 million to 1.5 million infected with the virus. By the end of 1991, the notice states, the cumulative total of AIDS cases is expected to reach 270,000, with more than 179,000 deaths from the disease.

"The nation's schools could inform 90-95 percent of our young people about the increasing number of infected individuals, the fatal nature of the disease, the lack of a preventive vaccine or cure, and specific means by which individuals can protect themselves now and in the future from becoming infected,'' the notice states.

Private-Sector Grants

In addition to the $5.1 million available to school systems, which includes $1 million designated for training and demonstration projects for teachers, $1.4 million will be awarded to private-sector health and education organizations and other national agencies serving youths.

Funding for the national and nonprofit groups, the Federal Register notice states, is aimed at "facilitating collaboration between public- and private-sector agencies to implement a coordinated national program to help schools nationwide.''

Up to seven grants of approximately $100,000 each will be awarded to national organizations; one will go to a national group representing college and university health services; and one each will go to groups proposing AIDS-education programs for black and for Hispanic youths.

In addition, grants of $100,000 will be awarded to national organizations representing colleges of education--to help provide preservice and inservice training on AIDS for teachers--and state education agencies.

The notice of grant-application procedures had been expected for some time. The C.D.C. first announced its intention to provide AIDS-education funding last fall, shortly after Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued a report calling for schools to start teaching children at "the lowest grade level possible'' about sex and the dangers of AIDS. (See Education Week, Nov. 26, 1986.)

After $10 million was provided for the effort as part of a supplemental appropriation to the C.D.C.'s budget, however, development of the guidelines stalled. Some have attributed the delay to difficulties within the Reagan Administration in balancing opposing viewpoints on what AIDS-education should entail. (See Education Week, Feb. 4, 1987.)

'Immediate Education'

According to the April 21 announcement, programs seeking funding should provide junior-high, high-school, and college-age students with "immediate education'' about the risk factors for acquiring AIDS. They should stress, it says, "the importance of providing such education within a more comprehensive program of K-12 school health education that establishes a foundation for understanding the relationships between personal behaviors and health.''

The C.D.C. will use $3.5 million of the $10 million AIDS-education appropriation to sponsor workshops for state and local education representatives, develop curricula for grades K-12, disseminate educational materials to state and local school districts, and establish research activities related to AIDS and school health.

The deadline for agencies and organizations applying for the cooperative agreements is July 15.

Recipients of the C.D.C. grants, according to the Federal Register notice, must:

  • Promote educational programs consistent with community values and appropriate to community needs.
  • Establish specific, measurable, and realistic program objectives at the national, state, and local levels to increase the number of schools, colleges, or other institutions providing effective AIDS education.
  • Develop and disseminate strategies, materials, and resources to help those organizations provide effective AIDS education.
  • Involve official education and health agencies and other relevant organizations in planning, executing, and evaluating the program.
  • Provide copies of AIDS-education curricula, program descriptions, progress reports, and educational materials to be included in the C.D.C.'s Combined Health Information Database.
  • Participate with the C.D.C. and other national organizations in an annual conference, and one workshop, on AIDS education for youth, school, and college populations.

For further information, write Marsha Driggans, Grants Management Specialist, Grants Management Branch, Procurement and Grants Office, Centers for Disease Control, 255 East Paces Ferry Road, N.E., Room 321, Atlanta, Ga. 30305, or call (404) 262-6575 or FTS 236-6575.

An original application and two copies should be submitted to Leo A. Sanders, Chief, Grants Management Branch at the above address.

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