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Partnerships Column

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The Points of Light Foundation held its first annual Awards for Excellence ceremony last week in New York City.

Winning corporations recognized for their community-service programs were: the Shell Oil Company and Tampa (Fla.) Electric Company in the large-company category; Adams and Reese, a New Orleans law firm, and the Security Benefit Group of Companies in Topeka, Kan., for medium-size companies; and Farmers Bank and Trust Company in Henderson, Ky., for small companies.

Four corporations received citations of merit for promoting employee volunteerism: the Ford Motor Company, Allstate Insurance Company, Coopers & Lybrand, and USAA.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded $4.2 million in five-year grants to 22 museums, botanical gardens, aquariums, and zoos to work with schools to encourage the interest of students, particularly members of minority groups, in science.

The new awards come one year after the Chevy Chase, Md.-based institute awarded $6.4 million in five-year grants to 29 history, science, and children's museums.

Deeming the earlier effort a success, institute officials decided to offer support to a broader range of educational programs.

"Museums, zoos, and other informal settings offer unique resources for students to see for themselves what science is all about,'' said the institute's president, Dr. Purnell W. Choppin. "They get to work with real scientists instead of just memorizing facts from a textbook.''

Another resource of interest to partnerships was published recently by the Book Industry Study Group Inc. and the National Association of Partners in Education.

The 192-page book, 50 Important Things You Can Do to Improve Education, includes an overview of the evolving role of partnerships in education, and short profiles of model programs.

The Book Industry Study Group is a coalition of publishers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and trade associations that researches issues in the publishing industry and puts out an annual survey and forecast of book sales.

The new book arose out of discussions at a symposium for industry leaders held in 1991.

"It quickly became clear that the central issue that concerns the book industry as a whole is the critical need for an educated America,'' notes the introduction.

Copies are available for $1 each, plus postage, from the Book Industry Study Group, 160 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10010; (212) 929-1393.--M.S.

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