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Giving Girls a Chance to SMARTen Up

December 27, 1985|Gary Libman

And now, ladies, it's time to get SMART: Girls Club of America Inc. has been awarded a three-year grant of $784,147 from the National Science Foundation to support GCA's Operation SMART, a program of informal education for girls ages 6 to 18.

The acronym stands for Science, Math and Relevant Technology, and, as Girls Club National Executive Director Margaret Gates observed, "Early test scores show girls equal to boys in their aptitude for science and math, yet by junior high school, girls tend not to pursue interest and ability in these fields."

Explaining that the first phase of the program will be directed at early adolescence (girls 11 to 14), program director Ellen Wahl Sullivan concurred: "The years of early adolescence are a time when barriers to participation and sex role stereotypes can easily overpower initial interest in science and math. Operation SMART is designed to remove those barriers. . . .

"No matter what the activity," Sullivan continued, "our goal is to promote girl's thinking in a scientific way. We want to generate questioning, curiosity, exploratory urges, the habit of documentation. We want girls to build things and to take them apart.

Operation SMART will begin Wednesday at the Girls Clubs of Syracuse and Schenectady, N.Y., and in Lynn, Greenfield, Pittsfield, Springfield and Holyoke, Mass. By the end of 1988, the GCA estimates Operation SMART will have reached 500,000 girls, 250,000 parents and 190 local communities of Girls Clubs.

Forlorn Pooch Has Tattoo, Needs Owner

Tricia Durand, where are you?

Your 75-pound golden retriever, Blaze, the one you had tattooed with identification behind the right ear, has been found. Dr. Anthony Shipp, a Beverly Hills veterinarian, is trying to locate you.

He ran a weeklong classified ad in The Times. Still no luck, which is frustrating because Shipp thinks he would recognize the woman who brought the dog to his clinic for tattooing eight years ago. The veterinarian said Durand lived in Malibu at the time.

Her 10-year-old retriever was found in Hancock Park a month ago by a man who called the Canine Bureau of Identification in New York and was referred to Shipp.

"We put something special on the tattoo, which the girl requested" he said. "I'm not going to tell what it is, because that's the only way we'll get the right owner."

King of Scrabble Takes on the Senate

Jason Lief earns straight A's, serves as student body president and plays baseball at Fairfax High School.

Too much? Well, Lief also spent a month in Tahiti as an exchange student and won $31,000 on "Scrabble," a television game show.

Now it appears that the senior, who wants to fly planes and become a diplomat, is scheduled to meet President Reagan in February as part of the United States Senate Youth Program.

For the last two years, Reagan has met the 103 high school student body or class officers who come to Washington for a week to study government, particularly the Senate.

Lief and James P. Morris, student body president of Cajon High School in San Bernardino, will also spend time in a senator's office and hear briefings from Supreme Court justices and Cabinet members.

"We're going to present ideas to the senators," Lief said. "We're going to tell them what we feel are the problems we face today and give suggestions on how to solve them."

The contest, sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, selected the two students from 225 California applicants based on their grades, leadership, community service and performance on an essay.

Lottery Payoff in Stars for Probate Judge?

A federal judge has helped develop a calendar that provides astrological lucky numbers for people who play the lottery, bingo, keno or other games.

Sally Willett, a circuit-riding probate judge for Indian reservations in Arizona and Southern California, said she designed the calendar and prepared legal work for it.

Willett does not follow astrology and has "no involvement in astrological things," she said. Her partner on the project, who believes in numerology, contacted a numerologist to research the numbers.

The blue-and-white 1986 calendar contains monthly charts with "best days" and "lucky numbers" for each of the 12 astrological signs.

It's available for $4.95 from Hellenic Enterprises, P.O. Box 5507, in Scottsdale, Ariz. 85261.

Finding Ways to Spend Olympic Surplus

Anita DeFrantz, an Olympics Games administrator who objected to the showing of "Gone With the Wind" in the Olympic villages, is creating programs for the group spending surplus Olympic funds.

DeFrantz, who ran the Olympic Village in 1984, persuaded the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee to drop "Gone With the Wind" from films shown in the village. An attorney and bronze medalist in team rowing at the 1976 Games, she said the movie portrayed "the negative aspects of black experience."

After serving as a consultant to the Los Angeles Organizing Committee Amateur Athletic Foundation following the Games, the foundation invited her to create programs full time. In January she will oversee clinics for neighborhood coaches. DeFrantz says that foundation programs attempt to enhance sports experiences for Southern California youth.

"The philosophy is basically that the athlete is first and winning is second," she said, ". . . We've found that most (volunteer) coaches don't have any education in the basic philosophy or approaches of coaching. . . . They can make the kids' experience so much better (if they do)."

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