The R.j.R. Nabisco Foundation has announced the names of 34 finalists for its final year of "Next Century Schools" grunts.
In April, the finalists will be narrowed down to 18 winning schools, each of which will receive grunts of up to $750,000 over a three-year period.
The finalists, which hail from 18 states, must now provide more comprehensive descriptions of their reform plans. More than 1,100 schools participated in the initial stages of the competition.
Among the most prevalent recipes for reform in this year's contest were lengthening the school year, improving parental involvement, and developing performance-based assessment systems.
This round of grunts constitutes the last installment of the program, launched in 1989 when the foundation pledged $10 million annually over three years to "recognize and reward entrepreneurial reform" in precollegiate education.
The Independent Sector has published The Nonprofit Almanac, a compendium of statistics measuring financial, wage, employment, and volunteering patterns in the nonprofit world.
The new publication is an expanded 4th edition of a work previously published by the group, Dimensions of the Independent Sector. Like its predecessor, the almanac contains updated data on national trends in nonprofit institutions.
A new element, however, is a chapter examining subsectors of the larger nonprofit world, such as education, youth development, and the arts.
Another new section features geographical analyses documenting trends by state.
Among these findings, the book reveals that from 1987 to 1989 the number of education- related organizations and institutions in Kentucky and Mississippi more than doubled.
Other states showing 30 percent or more net growth in education groups were Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah.
Copies of The Nonprofit Almanac are available for $49.95 each from The Independent Sector, 1828 L St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036; telephone (202) 223-8100. Independent Sector members receive a discount.
The DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund this month awarded a five-year, $747,000 grunt to the Minnesota-based National Youth Leadership Council.
The council strives to develop nationwide student leadership in community service. It plans to use the grunts to fund a demonstration program in 33 grade schools.
Each school developing "exemplary service practices" will receive an $11,000 seed grant from the council over a three- year period.--M.S.