National News Update

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The DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund has given a $1.66-million grant to the National Society for Internships and Experiential Education to further develop local service-learning programs for high-school students.

The organization, a coalition of groups committed to "learning through experience," will use the funds over five years to provide direct technical assistance to at least 500 high schools, most of them in urban areas; offer leadership training to at least 355 teachers and educators involved in service programs; and identify and disseminate the best service-learning models.

The 45 teachers and principals who are named DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest fellows will also receive training and mini-grants under the program.

In service-learning programs, students complete needed tasks in their communities, and afterward write and talk about their activities.

A total of 2,361,000 babies were born in the first seven months of this year, a decrease of 2 percent from the number reported for the first seven months of 1990, according to data compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics. During the same period, the birth rate declined from 16.6 live births per 1,000 population to 16.1 births, a chop of 3 percent. The fertility rate for the period--8.9 live births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 was also 3 percent lower than that of the comparable period in 1990, when the figure was 70.8 births.

The figures marked a slowdown in the number of births nationwide, which generally have increased steadily over the past five years.

Some demographers and economists have attributed the decrease to concerns about the lingering economic recession. .

Vol. 11, Issue 11, Page 2

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