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The Children's Television Workshop was finishing up a "3-2-1 Contact Extra" about oil last month when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein ordered the release of petroleum into the Persian Gulf. Editors quickly added footage on the Gulf spill to the special edition of the children's science show.

Subtitled "Bottom of the Barrel," the show was to air late this spring on the Public Broadcasting Service. But it has now been delivered early to local PBS stations for airing at their discretion. Most stations will air the half-hour show late this month, so check local listings.

Stephanie Yu and Z. Wright are the teen-age hosts of the show. The ctw has also been busy developing multimedia kits for "3-2-1 Contact" and for the math show "Square One TV."

The kits are aimed at children ages 6 to 12 in after-school child-care programs. Both kits include 10- to 15-minute videotapes with a science or math theme; hands-on games and activities tied to the themes of the video; and print and video guides for group leaders.

Ctw officials note that many children are no longer at home after school watching public-television programs with their parents.

The "3-2-1 Contact Action Kit" is available now for $65, plus shipping, from ctw's Community Education Services division, Dept. SACC, One Lincoln Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10023. The "Square One TV Superkit" will be available in the spring.

The Elementary/Secondary Service at PBS still has copies of its "Kids Ask About War" discussion guide for parents and educators.

The six-page guide was developed as a companion piece to a 30-minute special from public-television station KTCA in St. Paul that has been airing this month on PBS stations.

Copies of guide are available for $1 each from PBS, 1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, Va. 22314, or from local stations.

The Philadelphia Board of Education voted 5 to 2 this month to allow Whittle Communications' "Channel One" news show into its schools. The district is now the largest signed up by Whittle, which beams the 12-minute program into 6,500 schools across the country. Schools are loaned video equipment and monitors in exchange for using the show, which includes two minutes of advertising each day.

Public schools in New York and California have been barred by state education officials from using the show because of the advertising. Officials of the Chicago school district decided against signing up for the program last year.--mw

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