"Straight Talk About School,'' a new program launched last month by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, features successful college athletes advising high school students on ways to overcome obstacles and "achieve their personal best.''
In a flashy half-hour video--the centerpiece of the program--images of student-athletes playing volleyball, sinking jump shots, and running laps are interspersed with such advice as "stick it out in school'' and "set goals and work toward them.''
"This is not just another motivational program for students,'' said Timothy J. Dyer, the executive director of NASSP.
The program includes a guide to help students develop good study habits and time-management and organizational skills.
Funded with a $685,000 grant from the G.T.E. Foundation, the program features student-athletes from public and private colleges across the country talking about how to balance sports and academics.
The program also chips away at some of the myths about sports careers. Some student-athletes believe that the future will be filled with the "big bucks of pro sports,'' Mr. Dyer said. The problem, he said, is that they fail to realize that only one in 10,000 aspiring student-athletes goes on to play professional sports.
Bruce Elder, a successful basketball player at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, emphasized this point on the video: "It's not whether you get a scholarship, but who you are while you're working toward it.''
Copies of the "Straight Talk About School'' kit are available for $40 each from NASSP by calling (800) 253-7746.
The Ms. Foundation's second annual "Take Your Daughter To Work Day'' is set for April 28.
The foundation predicts that participation this year will surpass that of last year, when more than a million girls and young women accompanied their parents to business offices, opera houses, retail stores, and universities.
The foundation is urging teachers to use the day to offer special instruction to male students about the workforce inequities that women face.
The foundation also suggested that teachers visit child-care facilities to teach boys about the "the work of caring.''
The event's organizers are asking education officials to grant
excused absences to students who participate.