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Reader's Digest Teaching, Library Programs Get $20 Million

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The DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund will devote nearly $20 million to expanding its "Pathways to Teaching'' and "Library Power'' programs, the foundation announced last week.

"Increasing the number of highly motivated and qualified teachers, and enriching the library resources available to our young people, are critical elements in improving public education in this country,'' George V. Grune, the chairman of the fund, said in a statement.

DeWitt Wallace will award 13 grants totaling $9.86 million to expand the Pathways program.

The bulk of those funds--$6.23 million--will be awarded in four-year grants to 11 colleges and universities, to revise their teacher-education curricula and provide scholarships for 442 teachers completing their certification requirements.

That will bring the total number of higher-education institutions participating in the program to 46.

The New York City-based foundation will also award $2.07 million to the Bank Street College of Education, to administer the expansion of the Pathways program, and $1.56 million to Recruiting New Teachers Inc., in support of its efforts to attract a diverse population of individuals to the teaching profession.

Before awarding these latest grants, the fund had invested $27.7 million in Pathways since its inception in 1989.

'Library Power'

The foundation also announced that it will devote $9.98 million to expanding its Library Power program to five new sites: Chattanooga, Tenn.; Cleveland; Dade County, Fla.; Denver; and Lincoln, Neb.

The program was launched in 1988 in an effort to overhaul deteriorating elementary and middle school libraries in economically disadvantaged areas and to provide professional-development opportunities for librarians and educators.

Grants totaling $5.98 million will be awarded to public education funds in each new target area. In addition, the Public Education Fund Network in Washington will receive $1.17 million and the American Library Association will receive $2.83 million to oversee the programs.

The first Library Power program was launched in New York City. There are now 13 participating cities, including the five new sites. Previously, DeWitt Wallace had contributed about $15 million to the effort.

Bruce Trachtenberg, a spokesman for the foundation, said it expects to have invested as much as $45 million in the program by 1996, when the initiative is to have a total of 25 sites.

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