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Officials of about 60 percent of a national sample of public radio stations surveyed recently by the Southern Educational Communications Association said they "would be interested in a major block of quality children's programming" if such programs were available.

The survey was the first of four that the seca, a nonprofit network of public radio and television stations in the Southeast, will conduct this year under a $125,000 planning grant awarded last December by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Based on the results of the research, the seca, in cooperation with wunc Radio in Chapel Hill, N.C., and radio-station producers across the country, will develop a series of 13 90-minute programs for children involving the humanities. The first program will be available to radio stations in October.

Of the 94 radio-station managers surveyed, 55 said they would be interested in new children's programs to augment or replace current programming. The 30 who said their stations would not be interested in new programs gave two primary reasons for their disinterest--the programs would not be "consistent with current programming" or would not be "strong enough to draw an audience." Nine respondents did not answer the question.

The survey results also showed that more than half of the radio stations already offer programming for children and that most of such programs are for children in intermediate grades. "High-school and primary age groups lagged well behind as target audiences," according to the survey.

What is it really like to grow up in America? That is a question the journalist John Merrow will attempt to answer in a new series called ''Your Children, Our Children" to be broadcast on public television stations beginning April 1.

The series, hosted and produced by Mr. Merrow, who reported on children's issues for National Public Radio for eight years, will begin with a documentary look at the infant mortality rate in the United States.

The seven documentaries will examine a variety of youth issues, from child abuse and neglect to the effects of part-time employment on students' performance in school.

The final segment of the series is a roundtable discussion with child-advocacy experts such as Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund, and Urie Bronfenbrenner, professor of human development and family studies at Cornell University.

USA Today is among the many newspapers that offer educators teaching aids that encourage the use of newspapers in the classroom.

As part of its CLASSLINE program, the paper is offering a curriculum guide on the electoral process.

"Primaries '84" provides background information on the candidates and prepared worksheets. To obtain the guide, write USA Today, CLASSLINE, 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22209.--cc

Vol. 03, Issue 27

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