National News Roundup
Two new, privately funded programs aimed at improving literacy among adults and children were unveiled last week.
At a White House meeting, First Lady Barbara Bush announced the creation of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. The foundation will concentrate its support on programs "that bring parents and children together to build their reading and literacy skills," she said.
Aides to Mrs. Bush said she would not be directly involved in raising or distributing foundation funds. The new project will be administered through the Community Foundation of Greater Washington, Inc.
Meanwhile, an initiative launched by textbook publishers and reading specialists would target low-income and homeless children for literacy instruction.
The pilot program, said to be the first such effort specifically aimed at "at risk" youths, is scheduled to begin this spring in Kansas City, Mo., and this summer in a rural area of Iowa.
Under the initiative, volunteers will provide biweekly tutoring and other assistance for 10 weeks to 40 children at each of the pilot sites. In addition to providing literacy instruction, the program also will help parents support development of their children's reading ability.
The Association of American Publishers has agreed to provide $30,000 to develop the programs. Member firms also have promised to supply books that students will be able to keep.
The program will be administered by the International Reading Association.
"Say Yes to the Next Generation," urges an American Association of University Women campaign focusing on the needs of young women.
The initiative, which began last week, is designed to reduce teenage-pregnancy and dropout rates and to encourage young women to explore math and science careers. Members of 1,800 aauw branches will work to prepare girls for the labor force through career days, hands-on science programs, and workshops addressing health, self-esteem, and other common adolescent concerns.