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Volume 4 Number 4

No matter how many hundred of millions of dollars are spent, school reform initiatives will continue to produce unsatisfying results until we unflinchingly address the critical problem of teacher quality.
We're Still Leaving the Teachers Behind...
3rd Graders Publish Books for Doctors' Office, But Learn More from: Education Commission of the States
Nominate Your Favorite Teacher for the Seventh Annual 2003 Chadwick's of Boston National Teacher of the Year Award from: Chadwick's of Boston
Comforting Children About Parents' Military Service from: Association for Childhood Education International
April Columns
April Articles
April Regular Features
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In Focus...
3rd Graders Publish Books for Doctors' Office, But Learn More

From: Education Commission of the States

Contact: Kim Sharpe, 303.299.3680
FAX: 303.296.8332
ECS Web Site:

Third Graders Publish Books For Doctors' Offices, But Learn More Than Just How To Write

When 3rd graders in Carpinteria, California, didn't have books to read at their doctor's or dentist's office, they wrote their own and then personally delivered them using city buses.

This is what happens when students engage in "service- learning," when students relate service experiences directly to what they are learning in school, while at the same time making a valued contribution to their schools, neighborhoods and communities.

With the help of a $900,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the National Center on Learning and Citizenship (NCLC) will help more children benefit from service-learning by encouraging states, districts and schools to implement policies that support service-learning and make it part of the fabric of a solid education.

"Service-learning is not just about 'going out and doing good,'" said Terry Pickeral, NCLC director. "It involves learning and intellectual skills, performing needed service and producing real results that command respect. Service-learning provides students with the skills and virtues that enable them to participate fully in a civil society and contribute to the sustain- ability of our democracy."

Over the next three years, NCLC, the service-learning project of the Education Commission of the States, will work with state and local education leaders to develop and implement plans for integrating service-learning and citizenship into classrooms across the nation. California, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon and South Carolina are the lead states in this initiative and will help provide training and technical assistance to regional networks of states -- for example, Maine will work with New England states, South Carolina will work with south- eastern states, Minnesota with some midwestern states, etc. Policymakers and educators in these five states were involved in an earlier initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and are considered on the leading edge of making service-learning part of every student's school experience.

For more information please visit


The Education Commission of the States (ECS) is a national, nonprofit organization that helps governors, legislators, state education officials and others identify, develop and implement public policies to improve student learning at all levels. A nonpartisan organization, ECS was formed in 1965 and is located in Denver, Colorado.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 “to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.” Its programming activities center around the common vision of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be productive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions and healthy communities.

To achieve the greatest impact, the Foundation targets its grants toward specific areas. These include: health; food systems and rural development; youth and education; and philanthropy and volunteerism. Within these areas, attention is given to the cross-cutting themes of leadership; information and communication technology; capitalizing on diversity; and social and economic community development. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.