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Following is a list of free or inexpensive resources that teachers can order.

Student Contests.

Scott Pendleton's The Ultimate Guide to Student Contests, Grades 7-12 describes more than 300 contests open to students in areas such as photography, essay writing, computing, and geography. Published by Walker and Co., the 364-page collection details contest eligibility, deadlines, entry fees, and prizes. Cost: $15.95, plus $3.75 shipping and handling. Contact: Walker and Co., 435 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014; (800) 289-2553; fax (212) 727-0984.

Networking Classrooms.

Former middle school teacher Scott Christian has written Exchanging Lives: Middle School Writers Online, a teacher's guide to the benefits of on-line literary exchanges between students in geographically diverse classrooms. Published by the National Council of Teachers of English, the book is intended primarily for English language arts teachers in grades 6-12. Cost: $11.95 for NCTE members, $15.95 for nonmembers. Contact: National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 W. Kenyon Rd., Urbana, IL 61801-1096; (800) 369-6283.

Ancient Rome.

Ancient Rome I and Ancient Rome II, two new volumes in Cobblestone Publishing's series Teaching With Primary Sources, are available for teachers of grades 5 and up. Editor/writer Rosalie Baker has collected images of the sculptures, wall paintings, and ruins of the Roman Empire and written activities that compare life in ancient Rome to life in modern America. Included are customized binders, more than 20 activities for students, approximately 100 documents, and notes to the teacher. Cost: $24.95 each, plus shipping and handling. Contact: (800) 821-0115; e-mail [email protected]; www.cobblestonepub.com.


Raja Nasr's book Applied English Phonology, published by University Press of America, is a guide for teachers of English as a second or foreign language. It offers basic information about helping students master the phonological system of English and sharpen their knowledge of unfamiliar sounds. Cost: $21.50. Contact: University Press of America, 15200 NBN Way, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214; (800) 462-6420; fax (800) 338-4550.

Classic Books.

The Boston Globe publishes "Classics for Young Readers," an annotated list of all-time best books and stories for children and young adults. The 24-page booklet offers brief descriptions of 140 books and stories organized by age. Each age-group listing is arranged by genre, including picture books, poetry and rhymes, folk and fairy tales, and stories and legends. Cost: $2.95. Contact: the Boston Globe, Public Relations Department, P.O. Box 2378, Boston, MA 02107-2378.

White House Guide.

A Kid's Guide to the White House takes children on a tour of the president's house. Artwork from the White House Historical Association's collection of rare photographs and historic drawings illustrate author Betty Debnam's account of the mansion's evolution, from the laying of cornerstones in 1792 to its status today as a family home, office, museum, and national symbol. The book also comes with puzzles and games with a White House theme. Cost: $8.95; discounts for bulk purchases are available. Contact: Andrews McMeel Publishing at (800) 642-6480.

Teacher Taxes.

The Educator's Income Tax Guide is designed to help teachers understand tax laws and prepare their taxes. Now in its 31st year, the guide discusses IRS requirements as well as deductions commonly available to teachers. Cost: $10.95. For more information, contact: Teachers Tax Service, P.O. Box 8809, Chico, CA 95927-8809; (916) 896-1929.

Math Shortcuts.

Math Shortcuts to Ace the SAT illustrates 34 math strategies to help students preparing for the College Board's achievement tests. Published by Achievement Publishing Inc. and written by Kurt Trenkmann, the book covers divisibility, fractions, averages, quantitative comparisons, algebra, geometry, and word problems. It also offers a glossary of terms and answers to all exercises. The first copy of the book is available free to educators and school administrators. Cost $12.95 each, plus shipping and handling; discounts are available for bulk orders. Contact: Book Masters Inc., Order Department, P.O. Box 338, 1444 Route 42, Ashland, OH 44805; (800) 247-6553; fax (419) 281-6883; e-mail [email protected]; www.apluspublishing.com.

January 28. Peace.

The United States Institute of Peace announces the National Peace Essay Contest for students in grades 9-12. In this year's competition, students analyze two 20th-century conflicts and discuss how the countries involved handled war crimes or human rights violations. First-place winners from each state receive $750 college scholarships and compete for national awards of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 for first, second, and third place, respectively. First-place state winners are also invited to attend an expenses-paid awards program in Washington, D.C., in June 1998. For more information, contact: United States Institute of Peace, 1550 M St. N.W., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005-1708; (202) 429-3854; www.usip.org/et.html.

January 30. National Honor Society.

National Honor Society chapters may nominate for scholarships two senior chapter members who have shown outstanding character, earned good grades, performed community service, and demonstrated strong leadership skills. Sponsored by the National Honor Society and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, this program awards 250 scholarships of $1,000 each. For more information, contact your local National Honor Society adviser or the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Department of Student Activities, 1904 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1537; (703) 860-0200; fax (703) 476-5432; e-mail [email protected]; www.nassp.org.

Open. Teaching Tolerance.

Grants of up to $2,000 are available to K-12 teachers from the Teaching Tolerance project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The grants are awarded for activities that promote acceptance of diversity, peacemaking, community service, or other aspects of tolerance education. Requests should include a typed, 500-word description of the activity and the proposed budget. Contact: Teaching Tolerance Grants, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104.

*May 1. Vegetarian.

The Vegetarian Resource Group, a nonprofit organization, invites students ages 18 and under to submit essays on a diet that does not include fish, meat, or poultry. The two- to three-page essays may be based on research, interviews, and/or personal beliefs and experiences. A $50 U.S. savings bond will be awarded to one winner in each of the following age categories: 8 and under, 9-13, and 14-18. For more information, contact: Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; (410) 366-VEGE; www.vrg.org.

*May 1. Young Playwrights.

Very Special Arts, an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, invites individuals ages 25 and under with disabilities to enter the 1998 Playwright Discovery Program. Entrants submit an original script that focuses on some aspect of a disability. Two plays—one by a playwright 18 years old or younger and one by a playwright between the ages of 19-25—will be selected for production at the Kennedy Center in the fall of 1998. Award recipients also will receive scholarship funds and a trip to Washington, D.C., to view their production. For more information, contact: Very Special Arts, Education Office, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC 20566; (800) 933-8721; TTY (202) 737-0645; fax (202) 737-0725; e-mail [email protected].

*June 5. Multiple Sclerosis.

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America invites high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to participate in PROJECT: Learn MS, a scholarship essay competition. Students must write an essay of 500 to 1,000 words that answers three questions about multiple sclerosis and issues affecting people with disabilities. One student will receive a $5,000 scholarship; three students will each win a $1,000 scholarship. Entrants must obtain at least one sponsor willing to put up $7.50. Students who raise additional funds for the MSAA receive a variety of incentive prizes, including color televisions, sweatshirts, and T-shirts. For more information, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: PROJECT: Learn MS, 706 Haddonfield Rd., Cherry Hill, NJ 08002.

Open. Television.

CNN Newsroom & WorldView, Turner Broadcasting's news and features program for schools, airs student-produced videos. Students may submit reports of no more than two and a half minutes on any topic, although students are encouraged to focus on popular themes in education. Participation is open to all schools enrolled in the CNN Newsroom & WorldView program. For more information, contact: CNN Newsroom School Videos Program, 1 CNN Center, 10 South, Seventh Floor, North Tower, Atlanta, GA 30303; (800) 344-6219; learning.turner.com.

Book Club.

Hewlett-Packard sponsors the HP Digital Book Club, a site designed to promote reading and literacy for children. This site provides lists of best-selling books for ages 8-11, 12-15, and 16-18; tips for starting a book club; book-related crafts and activities; excerpts from classic children's and young adult literature; advice from published authors, including Stan and Jan Berenstain, authors of The Berenstain Bears, and Bruce Coville, author of My Teacher is an Alien ; and a list of links relating to children's literature, books, and authors. www.hp-at-home.com/bookclub.

*April 15. Ayn Rand Contest.

High school juniors and seniors are invited by the Ayn Rand Institute to enter an essay contest on Rand's novel The Fountainhead. One first-prize winner receives a $10,000 award. Five second-prize winners receive $2,000 each, and 10 third-prize winners receive $1,000 each. The 800- to 1,600-word essay must focus on one of three topics specified by the institute. For more information, contact: Fountainhead Essay Contest, Ayn Rand Institute, P.O. Box 6004, Inglewood, CA 90312; www.aynrand.org/contests.

*April 15. Essay Contest.

Students in grades 10-12 are invited to enter the Discover Gold Essay Contest sponsored by the Gold Institute. Contestants research and write a five- to 10-page essay on the uses of gold in daily life. The first-place winner is awarded $750, the second-place winner $500, and the third-place winner $250. The first- and second-place winners and an accompanying parent, guardian, or teacher also receive a two-day visit to Washington, D.C. In addition, the Gold Institute donates $1,000 to the science department of each winner's school. For more information, send a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope to the Gold Institute, 1112 16th St. N.W., Suite 240, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 835-0185; www.goldinstitute.com.

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