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The DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund has awarded a $2 million grant to the National Writing Project in Berkeley, Calif., to improve the teaching of writing in schools with large numbers of low-income students.

The writing project holds four- to five-week summer institutes across the country for writing teachers in grades K-12. The grant will help the project expand its professional-development program from 10 urban areas to 18.

The DeWitt Wallace Fund also announced last month grants of $2 million to the Developmental Studies Center in Oakland, Calif., and $1.2 million to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in Detroit.

The Developmental Studies Center will use the money to increase the number of schools in its Child Development Project, a program to promote the intellectual, ethical, and social development of children.

The grant to the teaching-standards board will support its "National Board in the Classrooms" program, an effort to encourage experienced teachers to seek national certification.

The national board plans to offer certification in 33 areas, either by subject fields or grade levels. To date, 81 teachers have been certified, and seven states have promised incentives, such as higher pay, to board-certified teachers. The new grant brings to $7.1 million the total contributions by the DeWitt Wallace Fund to the board since it was founded in 1987.

The Foundation for Educational Field Studies, a new private foundation that focuses on experiential learning, is accepting requests for scholarships and grants from individuals and groups across the United States.

The foundation says its mission is to "encourage and support the exploration of innovative approaches to classroom teaching and alternative ways in which children learn most effectively."

The Incline Village, Nev.-based philanthropy will award grants primarily for research and development on alternative-education methods, professional-development workshops or seminars, and curriculum development projects that bring "the outside world" into schools. It will give scholarships to people and groups for field trips or seminars in science, the social sciences, history, mathematics, or the performing arts.

Scholarships of $100 to $1,000 may also be awarded periodically for students in grades 4-12 for education-related travel.

More information is available from the foundation at P.O. Box 8280, Incline Village, Nev. 89452; (702) 831-7080.

--Meg Sommerfeld

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