Column One: Students

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Although most youth employment and training programs include some form of support services, such as child care, counseling, and legal aid, there is little information on how many young people receive such services or how effective they are, a new study has found.

The study found that the services reduce barriers to participation in training programs and to employment, but that few program operators have managed to combine them effectively into programs for youths. Part of the problem, the researchers point out, is that support services include a range of activities that are provided by different agencies.

To enhance access to services and knowledge about them, the study recommends that the U.S. Labor Department coordinate efforts to address the need for support services and sponsor research on the types, delivery, and effectiveness of such services.

The study, "Supportive Services for Youth,'' will be published in a forthcoming book, Dilemmas in Youth Employment Programming, published by Public/Private Ventures, 399 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19106. Copies are $7.50 each.

The University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research has received an $18 million grant to continue conducting its annual survey of secondary school students.

The survey, which the institute has conducted since 1975, is based on questionnaires administered to some 50,000 8th, 10th, and 12th graders each year, and measures about 1,500 variables on public health and education. Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the survey is best known for its data on student drug and alcohol use.

Under the new grant, which will extend the survey through 1997, researchers plan to follow a sample of 8th graders to determine who drops out of school and why.

Thanks to the efforts of a substitute teacher from Villa Park, Calif., students across the country next month will take part in a celebration honoring the centennial of the Pledge of Allegiance, which was written as part of a school celebration in 1892.

Using donated funds, Paula Burton, a Dutch immigrant, prepared a 100-page instructional manual on the pledge and mailed copies to every U.S. senator, governor, and school district. She also plans to mail copies to all 65,000 elementary schools nationwide.

In addition to suggested games, essay contests, and art projects, the manual also includes a musical pageant featuring an original song written by Ms. Burton.--R.R.

Vol. 12, Issue 04

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