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The Getty Center for Education and the Arts and the National pta have launched a joint project aimed at promoting support for arts education among parents.

Under the program, 53 local parent-teacher organizations will hold meetings this fall to discuss ways to encourage children's interest in art in school and at home.

The two groups have also produced a brochure, entitled "Make Art a Part of Your Child's World," which helps explain the need for arts education and ways parents can support it.

Art, the brochure states, "is both an important tool for learning and a basic part of human nature--as old as the paintings drawn on the walls of caves by our early ancestors. Art is not an educational 'frill."'

The Public Employees Roundtable, a coalition of civil-service groups, is sponsoring a nationwide contest to develop lesson plans for elementary and secondary schools on the role of government in American life.

"Young people often learn about the political part of government, but there is little education about the civil service," said Gretchen Hakola, administrative assistant for the roundtable.

Entries should also focus on public-service careers, she said, and should be "flexible" enough to be incorporated within existing social-studies, history, and civics courses.

Copies of the winning curriculum will be distributed to every school in the country. The winning writers will be brought to Washington to participate in the roundtable's annual "breakfast of champions" next May.

The deadline for entries is Jan. 31, 1989. Contest guidelines may be obtained by contacting the Public Employees Roundtable, P.O. Box 6184, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, D.C. 20044; or by calling (202) 535-4324.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's educational audiovisual materials are now available through a central distribution center.

Nasa's Central Operation of Resources for Educators, operated in conjunction with the Lorain County Joint Vocational School in Oberlin, Ohio, will allow teachers and principals to order--by mail--videotapes, slides, and filmstrips produced by the agency. Previously, those materials had been available only at nasa's teacher-resource centers, which are located at nasa field centers and selected museums and universities.

Educators can obtain catalogs and mail-order forms by sending a request on school letterhead to: nasa core, Lorain County Joint Vocational School, 15181 Route 58 South, Oberlin, Ohio 44074.


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