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Apples for learning

Some low-income students from Ithaca, N.Y., have decided to put their dreams for college on a shelf.

A grocery store shelf, that is.

Taking a cue from Food From the 'Hood, a program that allows students at Los Angeles' Crenshaw High School to peddle salad dressing for scholarship money, about 10 Ithaca High School students are hoping to turn homemade applesauce into college cash.

With start-up grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other sources, 'Hood East participants last year used a kitchen at a local community center to create various applesauce flavors. After taste-testing the combinations, the students settled on four flavors: plain, strawberry, blueberry, and peach.

"Apples are a New York product," said Jeff Furman, an Ithaca resident who helped set up the 'Hood East program. "We want to stay as connected as we can to our own home-based economy."

The applesauce is now sold at Ithaca-area Wegman's and Tops supermarkets, and may soon be sold throughout the state, Mr. Furman said. So far, the group has taken in some $5,000 in applesauce sales, but has not yet granted a scholarship.

History lessons

Seventh grader Joel Gabre is trying to change history.

As part of his service-learning project at the Academy for Science and Foreign Languages in Huntsville, Ala., Joel has taken on the cause of a local land owner who died nearly five decades ago after a life that began in slavery and ended in prosperity.

John Thomas Moore received a dishonorable discharge from the Union Army after he became ill during the Civil War and left his regiment. He went on to raise 14 children and became a respected leader in Huntsville. But he spent the rest of his life trying to clear his name. He died in 1950, at age 107, without fulfilling that dream.

Now Joel, with the help of 8th grader Farah Salehi, is continuing the fight.

Since last fall, the students have spent countless hours searching through local records, interviewing Moore's family, and asking Alabama congressmen and even President Clinton to reconsider Moore's case.

They are set to present their findings this month at the National Service Learning Conference in Minneapolis. Joel hopes to complete his research by the fall.


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