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Nearly 78 percent of U.S. public school districts have some form of recycling program, and almost 73 percent of districts buy recycled-paper products, a recent survey shows.

The most frequently recycled material in schools is paper, followed by aluminum, cardboard, milk boxes, and plastic foam, the survey, which was released last month, found.

The National School Public Relations Association, whose members work to improve communications in education, surveyed 406 district purchasing officials nationwide this spring to determine the extent of school recycling.

The survey found that districts spend more than $250 million a year for recycled products, and that nearly one-fourth of all paper products purchased by schools are made from recycled material. Paper towels, writing tablets, toilet paper, and copier paper are among the recycled-paper products schools buy.

Most district officials cited concern for the environment and setting a good example for students and the community as their reasons for recycling.

Free copies of the report are available from the National School Public Relations Association, 1501 Lee Highway, Suite 201, Arlington, Va. 22209-1100; (703) 528-5840.

Whittle Gets Physical: Whittle Communications last week unveiled a new in-school television program for physical-education classes called "PETV.''

The program, scheduled to begin in September, will involve a weekly series of 12-minute shows addressing such subjects as cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, agility, balance, and mastery of specific sports.

The shows, to be delivered over the same system that provides schools with the Channel One daily news show, have an MTV style and are commercial free except for a brief credit for the program's sole underwriter, Reebok International Ltd., which makes sports footwear and apparel.

PETV's goal, according to Whittle Communications, is to stress to teenagers the importance of lifelong physical fitness. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education has endorsed the program.

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