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Youth Service Column

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The National Association of Partners in Education has received a $380,000 grant from the U.S. Education Department to act as a national clearinghouse for school volunteer and partnership programs.

Under the grant, the association plans to survey schools and partnership programs to collect information for a national data base.

It also plans to develop model standards for volunteer work and partnerships. A training manual and videos describing innovative programs will also soon be available.

The model will be developed by an advisory panel formed by the group to examine successful techniques used by existing programs.

The Johnson Foundation has released a report that gives guidelines on how to create effective school-based youth-service programs.

Containing recommendations from 70 service organizations attending a conference in October, the report, "Principles of Good Practice for Combining Service and Learning," offers down-to-earth instructions for setting up successful programs.

For example, the report states that an effective program should engage people in responsible and challenging actions for the common good; provide structured opportunities for people to reflect critically on their service experience; articulate clear service and learning goals for everyone involved; allow the service recipients to define their needs; and clarify the responsibilities of each person involved.

Copies of the guide are available free of charge from the Johnson Foundation, P.O. Box 547, Racine, Wis. 53401.

Three schools have been cited by the International Business Machines Corporation as having outstanding community-service programs that weave the concept of service into the overall curriculum of the school.

The three schools will be profiled in a six-part advertising series by ibm in U.S. News & World Report.

Rice High School, an all-male Catholic school in New York City, was chosen for the volunteer work performed by students in soup kitchens, aids clinics, and a local shelter for homeless men.

Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, Calif., was also selected for a program that now includes almost the entire student body. Students there have organized rock concerts to benefit Amnesty International, and have "adopted" a Mexican orphanage.

Also profiled will be Ellington High School in Ellington, Conn., where students serve as the town's rescue squad.

Selected by an independent panel from more than 1,500 entries, each school will receive an ibm networked computer lab. --lj

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