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When Jesse Talks...

When Jesse Jackson (right) called on parents in the nation's capital and its environs to get involved in their children's schooling, they responded en masse. Thousands, some arriving in taxicabs and car-pools, escorted their children to class on the first day of school.

In suburban Prince George's County, Md., district officials reported that the number of parents accompanying pupils on the first day increased three- to fourfold over last year.

During a speech at one school, Jackson urged parents to meet their children's teachers and "turn off the TV at night.''

A Sailor's Story

As Bill Pinkney (left) sails around the world, 40,000 Chicago public school children will track his progress and use the information he transmits to them to study mathematics, science, social studies, and other subjects.

Pinkney, who was scheduled to depart this fall and return next August or September, will communicate with Chicago students via fax machine, videotape, and public radio station WBEZ.

He is the first black to attempt a solo voyage of the 31,050-mile "Mount Everest of the Seas'' route through the Southern Hemisphere.

Special Clothes For Special Children

Much of what former teacher Judith Sweeney (left) learned from working with handicapped students comes in handy today in her work as a clothing designer.

Sweeney creates "special clothes'' for handicapped children and distributes them through her own mail-order company, which she operates out of her home in Alexandria, Va. She designs clothes with extra room and side openings to fit over braces and to conceal gastrointestinal tubes, and clothes with velcro crotches for older children who need to wear diapers. She also makes apparel for children confined to wheelchairs.

"Any piece of clothing can be tailored to fit a child's situation,'' Sweeney says. "The goal is to make kids as independent as they can be.'' Parents say her colorful, stylish designs boost their children's self-esteem.

Thanks A Million

Marshall Cogan must have fond memories of his alma mater: The New York business executive (class of 1955) has expressed his gratitude to the Boston Latin School with a $1 million gift. Boston Latin is the oldest public preparatory school in the country, and the gift is the largest personal donation to the school since its founding in 1635. Most of the money is earmarked for student scholarships, but some of it will be used for faculty enrichment and upgrading the language lab.

Count Me In (Sort Of)

At the behest of Whittle Communications, Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers, has agreed to serve on the advisory council of the company's controversial Channel One--but with reservations.

Channel One is the 12-minute television news program that Whittle hopes to have up and running in 2,000 schools by next March. The daily program will include two minutes of commercials.

Shanker says that while he continues to have "strong reservations both about the propriety of advertising in schools and the educational effectiveness of the shows,'' he decided to accept council membership on a two-year trial basis "because it is important to expand the use of technology in schools.''

Good Old-Fashioned Bribery

Students at Carter High School in Dallas cheered when businessman Charles Cross (right) announced that, for the rest of the school year, winners of weekly drawings would have the use of his gleaming white BMW for a week. He also offered cash awards of $1,000 and $2,500 to students with the best marks at the end of each grading period.

But Dallas school officials politely declined his offer, suggesting instead that Cross "redirect'' his resources toward college scholarships. Their reasons: rampant materialism among the school's middle-to upper-middle class student body and reports that 12 of its current and former students had been arrested on armed robbery charges for stealing cash.

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