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April 2008 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


America’s Promise Alliance Launches National Dropout Prevention Campaign
On the 25th Anniversary of the landmark education report, A Nation at Risk, the America's Promise Alliance warns that "our educational system remains in peril -- with more than one-third of high school students dropping out before graduation." On April 1, 2008, the Alliance launched a two-year national campaign that will include more than 100 summits nationwide to prepare our youth for college, work, and life.


Georgetown University and Casey Family Programs Partner to Help At-Risk Youth
Two of the nation's leading organizations helping young people in the foster care and juvenile justice systems have joined forces to improve the lives of at-risk youth. The Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and Casey Family Programs have formed a three-year partnership to test innovative ideas that can improve and reform America's child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Calls to Participate


Challenge 20/20 Partnership
The National Association of Independent Schools has created Challenge 20/20, a program that brings together two schools: one from the U.S. and one from outside the country. Teacher-student teams from both schools work together throughout the fall 2008 school semester to come up with a solution to a global problem. Challenge 20/20 is based on Jean Francois Rischard's book, High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them. Maximum Award: n/a. Eligibility: All U.S. schools, elementary and secondary, public or private. Deadline: August 15, 2008.


Fordham Fellows
The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Fellowship program seeks to bring bright and ambitious people into the world of education policy. Five fellows will come to Washington, DC in fall 2008 to work full-time for nine months (Labor Day to Memorial Day) at a different education policy organization in the city. Each will be integrated into that organization, be involved in a challenging project, have access to organization leaders, and contribute to fulfilling the organization's mission and goals. Maximum Award: $25,000. Eligibility: applicants must have an undergraduate degree. Registration deadline: April 30, 2008.


Global Youth Service Day
April 25 – 27 is Global Youth Service Day where young volunteers from around the world will take action and celebrate youth service and community engagement.


Paid Summer Internships for Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math Student with Disabilities
Through a program called Entrypoint!, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) offers paid summer internship opportunities for college students with disabilities who are pursuing degrees in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business. Through partnerships with IBM, NASA, Merck, NOAA, Google, Lockheed Martin, CVS, NAVAIR, and university science laboratories, AAAS identifies and screens fulltime undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities, with at least a B average to place them in paid summer internships in both the private industry and government agencies. Interested students are encouraged to apply asap.


SABE 2008 Conference Call for Presentations
Self-advocates are invited to submit proposals to lead one of over 70 workshops at the SABE 2008 conference. All sessions are led by self-advocates, on topics of their own choosing. Don't miss out on being part of the largest gathering of self-advocates in the country! There is no limit to the number of presentations a proposer can submit. Proposals must be received by May 15, 2008 and follow the criteria listed on the website. Notification of acceptance will be mailed on June 15, 2008. To fill out and submit a proposal go to the url.


Secretary of Labor’s New Freedom Initiative Award
U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao has called upon nonprofit organizations, small businesses, corporations, and individuals that have demonstrated exemplary and innovative efforts in advancing the employment and workplace environment of people with disabilities to submit entries for the 2008 Secretary of Labor’s New Freedom Initiative Award. Nomination deadline: May 30, 2008.


Wireless Computer Lab Sweepstakes
Discovery Education and CDW-G will award wireless computer labs, valued at more than $50,000 each, to five schools. Maximum Award:. Legal residents of the U.S. who are 18 years and older and who are employed at accredited public, private, or parochial schools in the U.S. containing any class with students from kindergarten through Grade 12 are eligible. Entry deadline: May 1, 2008.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Foster Youth Who Have Succeeded in Higher Education: Common Themes  (April 2008)
NCSET Information Brief  • Volume  7 ,  Issue  1
All young people, including foster youth and youth with disabilities, can succeed academically given adequate support and advocacy from educators, professionals, and their caregivers. Casey Family Programs interviewed eight former foster youth who recently graduated from college. Their perspectives on going to college and obtaining a degree despite numerous barriers presents an opportunity learn how other young adults like them might be better supported.

Other National Resources


Addressing Barriers to Learning  (April 2008) PDF document
The UCLA Center’s School Mental Health Project’s spring issue features “Rethinking How Schools Address Student Misbehavior & Disengagement.” This issue underscores the relationship between student disengagement at school and subsequent misbehavior and explores the importance of developing school improvement plans balancing social control strategies with a greater emphasis on intrinsic motivation. The discussion also highlights Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), the need to focus on underlying motivation in addressing concerns about engagement, and the opportunities to promote social and emotional learning and mental health. Available in PDF (16 p, 230 KB).


Closing the Expectations Gap 2008: An Annual 50-state Progress Report on the Alignment of High School Policies with the Demands of College and Careers  (February 2008)
This report from Achieve reports that a majority of states have committed to raise expectations for high school students, and more than one third have already adopted college- and career-ready standards and graduation requirements. However, only nine states expect to have college- and career-ready testing systems in place by the end of 2008, and only four will hold high schools accountable for their students’ readiness. Available in PDF (24 p, 2.60MB).


Digest of Education Statistics, 2007
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has released the “Digest of Education Statistics, 2007”. The 43rd in a series of publications initiated in 1962, the Digest provides a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. It contains data on a variety of topics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, and federal funds for education, libraries, and international comparisons.


Frameworks for Systemic Transformation of Student and Learning Supports  (2008) PDF document
This report from the Center for Mental Health in Schools, discusses how to improve schools to be effective in enabling all students to have an equal opportunity to succeed at school. Available in PDF (51 pages, 396 KB).


It Doesn’t Take a Rocket Scientist to Understand and Use Social Security Work Incentives: A Manual for Social Security Work Incentives Training
(12th Ed.) (2008) This training manual provides a basic overview of Work Incentives and their parent programs; it is designed to help you decipher the SSA forms and regulations. Available in PDF (see bottom of page) (40 pages, 347 KB).


Native Education 101: Basic Facts about American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Education PDF document
This report from the National Indian Education Association and the National Education Association looks at achievement barriers facing American Indians, Alaska natives, and Native Hawaiians in schools. It finds that policies and resources are needed to preserve indigenous languages and cultures, recruit and retain quality teachers, and support safe, effective schools. Available in PDF (26 pages, 912 KB).


New KIDS COUNT Data Center (Online database)  (March 2008)
Online database
The Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT online database features child well-being measures for the 50 largest U.S. cities, and contains more than 100 indicators, including the most recent data available on education, employment and income, poverty, health, and youth risk factors for the United States as a whole, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Project Forum Summary of Performance  (March 2008) PDF document
This Policy Analysis is based on a survey of all state education agencies. Findings include information regarding variation among states establishing policy and staffing patterns for administering the IDEA summary of performance (SOP) requirement. The survey protocol and individual state SOP Web sites are included as appendices. (13 p, 152 KB).


Report Says High School Dropouts Cost States Millions  (April 2008)
The Alliance for Excellent Education reports that states could save by increasing their graduation rates. Bob Wise, president of the Alliance and former governor of West Virginia, says dropouts are more costly health care consumers and more likely to use government paid health care such as Medicaid.


The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2007  (April 2008)
Results from the 2007 national test of writing performance of eighth- and 12th-graders nationally show improvements across many student groups since previous assessments in 2002 and 1998. Results are also reported for eighth-graders in 45 participating states, the Department of Defense schools, and 10 urban school districts. Since the last assessment, 19 states, three districts, and the Department of Defense schools made gains. (72 p, 3,901 KB).

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What's Happening

Other National Events


The Key Three Routine: Comprehension Strategy Instruction
Web-based Event
April 9, 2008
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
In this live event from WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp initiative, Joan Sedita, founding partner of Keys to Literacy, will review the research on effective comprehension instruction and introduce participants to a model for embedding comprehension strategy instruction into content classroom instruction. This webinar will be particularly useful for classroom teachers, administrators, and literacy specialists working with grades 4-12. Participation is free, but registration is required.

The Science of Autism: Beyond the Myths and Misconceptions
Web-based Event
April 21, 2008
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM   (Eastern)
Scientific and societal interest in autism has burgeoned in the past decade, as documented by over 20 million websites, over 10,000 entries in PubMed, and regular attention to autism by the national media. With this surge of scientists and society turning their attention toward autism, it becomes exceedingly important to distinguish uninformed stereotype from scientific reality, to move beyond myths and misconceptions. Sponsored by TASH, Morton Ann Gernsbacher, University of Wisconsin, will present the science to answer several commonly held, but often erroneous assumptions: Is autism an attachment disorder? Do autistic individuals really lack a theory of mind? Is there an epidemic of autism? Does ABA therapy cure autism? What is the most promising interpersonal intervention? Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

Introduction to "Success Stories From the Front Line: Intellectual Disabilities and Mental Health"
Teleconference Call
April 24, 2008
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM   (Eastern)
Sponsored by NADD, Success Stories from the Front Line is an anthology of first person stories submitted by patients and their families about the experience of living with an intellectual disability and mental illness. Stories of the journey by individuals with intellectual disability and mental illness from illness to recovery are important both for mental health clinicians to use as learning tools and inspiration for the future of their field and for clients, caregivers and families to hear, offering them support and hope when they or someone they care about is suffering from serious mental illness. These stories can provide a valuable road map of the illness journey, what recovery can look like, and what supports are needed along the way. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

A Land We Can Share: Teaching Literacy to Students with Autism
Web-based Event
April 28, 2008
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
Come and learn about how we can give all students--including those with significant disabilities--access to the literate community. In this presentation, sponsored by TASH, Dr. Paula Kluth will explain how all students can be given learning opportunities that are rich, challenging, and meaningful. Participants will also learn strategies for including and supporting students with autism labels in reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities and will explore ideas for addressing needs in comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

Third Annual NCUST Symposium: Building Excellence in Teaching

May 7, 2008 - May 9, 2008
San Diego, CA
The National Center for Urban School Transformation will be holding their Third Annual Symposium: Building Excellence in Teaching on May 7-9 at the Westin Horton Plaza in San Diego, California. The symposium offers a unique chance to learn from urban school-staffers around the country who are overcoming the odds by improving outcomes for their students. Through their stories, leaders from these schools will be offering strategies for effectively improving academic achievement in schools.

International Conference on Self-Determination
May 27, 2008 - May 29, 2008
Detroit, MI
The International Conference on Self-Determination, presented by the Center for Self-Determination, will feature a combination of a few short presentations and panel discussions and roundtables organized by topic with a diversity of moderators and cross-disability panel members rather than a single-focus presentation by a particular individual or organization. Each session is organized across disabilities.

Comprehensive Community-based Services for Children and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Needs
Teleconference Call
May 29, 2008
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM   (Eastern)
Sponsored by NADD, a community assessment process used in various states in the U.S. to evaluate services for individuals with developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs will be presented by Joan B. Beasley, Ph.D. A major goal of the assessment is to identify resource gaps that may lead to the use of expensive and restrictive services, emergency services, and lengthy or unnecessary psychiatric inpatient hospital stays. In the case of children and adolescents, service outcomes include the trend toward out-of-state placements for some individuals. A process to analyze the system, include all stakeholders in problem solving, identify gaps, and develop effective solutions will be discussed and a model program to better meet the needs of children in their communities will be presented. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

Abilities Expo: Your Show for Independent and Assisted Living Products & Services
May 30, 2008 - June 1, 2008
Anaheim, CA
Abilities Expo showcases the latest independent and assisted living products and services to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. It is a consumer show and is open to the public. Abilities Expo also has a comprehensive workshop program consisting of consumer and professional tracks, with certificates of participation available to students and education and healthcare professionals.

20th Annual Postsecondary Disability Training Institute
June 10, 2008 - June 14, 2008
Portland, ME
The objective of this training institute, sponsored by the University of Connecticut Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability, is to assist dedicated professionals to meet the unique needs of college students with disabilities. Participants can select from a variety of strands and single sessions taught by experts in the field and they will have opportunities to share information and network with each other at various activities throughout the Institute.

2008 Believable Hope Conference, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)
June 18, 2008 - June 21, 2008
Washington, DC
Members of the disability community; business and community leaders; healthcare professionals; and families will join forces with UCP to create Believable Hope today for a life without limits for people with disabilities in the future. Registration deadline: May 21, 2008.

Fifth Annual Urban Service-Learning Institute
June 26, 2008 - June 27, 2008
Saint Paul, MN
The Urban Service-Learning Institute, sponsored by the National Youth Leadership Council, focuses on applying the principles of service-learning to help students achieve excellence in urban settings. This event is an opportunity to connect with other professionals working in urban settings and help shape this developing area of service-learning. Participants will discuss service-learning outreach and application techniques and answer the following questions: How can the principles of service-learning be applied in urban environments? What are the issues and opportunities that educators and students face in urban areas? How does service-learning fit in the current education reform movement? Registration deadline: June 13,2008.

2008 School of the 21st Century National Conference
July 14, 2008 - July 16, 2008
New Haven, CT
Sponsored by The School of the 21st Century (21C), this conference focuses on Changing Roles of Schools: Schools of the 21st Century. Participants will have an opportunity to network with others committed to making schools responsive to the needs of children and families and choose from almost 40 sessions that tie research to everyday practice and provide tools to enhance every aspect of program development, administration, and evaluation. Experts and practitioners will present updates in the policy arena as well as provide tools to help parents become involved and engaged in their children’s education. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Child Development Institute
This Web site from the Child Development Institute contains information on child development, parenting, family life, teenagers, learning, health & safety, child psychology, and mental health including ADHD.


Global Youth Action Network
The Global Youth Action Network (GYAN) is a youth-led organization that unites the efforts of young people working to improve our world. The Network connects many thousands of organizations in over 190 countries and a growing membership is now helping to shape the future direction of GYAN. GYAN works to: facilitate youth participation and intergenerational partnership in global decision-making; support collaboration among diverse youth organizations; and provide tools, resources, and recognition for positive youth action.


Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
For 60 years, Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D), a national nonprofit, volunteer organization, has been the leading producer of accessible educational materials for students with disabilities such as visual impairment or dyslexia that make reading standard print difficult or impossible. With titles available in every subject area and grade level from kindergarten through graduate studies, RFB&D’s digitally recorded textbooks are effective learning tools for students challenged by the printed page.


Resource Highlights Community’s Role in Educating All Children shows how teachers, administrators, parents, and others are finding common ground and crafting innovative, 21st-century solutions to help all students succeed. Features include a wide variety of success stories about U.S. schools and districts that have adopted successful strategies for addressing key challenges in education. The site’s ultimate goal: to build a sense of community among those who are working at the local level to strengthen their public schools, while showcasing proven strategies.


Technical Education Research Centers (TERC)
TERC works to generate awareness of how learning in the real world and the classroom overlap. This Web site offers useful resources for engaging students in meaningful activities and learning outside of school where students can participate in math and science activities in their daily lives without even realizing it. The Web site also offers games and activities that can get students excited about learning outside of the classroom.



Juvenile Justice Connection Blog
The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has established a blog to facilitate the exchange of information among juvenile justice professionals. Juvenile Justice Connection will feature news from NIC, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and other federal, state, and local sources, including information about professional training opportunities and juvenile justice-related research. The blog also offers RSS and other syndication feeds.


Special Education Blog from Education Week
In her blog, Education Week reporter Christina A. Samuels tracks local, state, and national news and trends in the special education community.


The Annie E. Casey Foundation Print and E-Newsletters
The Annie E. Casey Foundation periodically distributes print and e-mail newsletters highlighting new information and resources on a variety of topics, including leadership development, education and early care, and family economic success.


Weekly Insider from The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools
The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools Weekly Insider is a weekly e-newsletter that offers news alerts, grant announcements, and general web site updates. The Center is located at the School of Public Health and Health Services at The George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2008
This document lists virtually all programs and competitions under which the U.S. Department of Education has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards for fiscal year 2008 and provides actual or estimated deadlines for the transmittal of applications under these programs. The lists are in the form of charts organized according to the Department’s principal program offices and include programs and competitions previously announced as well as those to be announced at a later date.


FY 2007-2008 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Academic Enrichment and Teacher Development Grants, McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation
Grants of up $10,000 a year for a maximum of three years will be awarded to K-12 teachers who are working to increase the educational experiences of a wide range of students, especially those from low-income households. Deadline: May 1, 2008


Award for Breakthrough Middle and Secondary Schools
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the MetLife Foundation are calling for entries in the search for the nation’s top “Breakthrough Schools.” Applicants should be high achieving middle or high schools, or schools that are making dramatic improvements in student achievement, whose best practices and outstanding results can inform other schools as they further their own improvement efforts. Honorees will be chosen based upon documented success in implementing strategies aligned with the three core areas of NASSP’s Breaking Ranks II publication: collaborative leadership; personalization; and curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Eligibility: high-achieving middle and high schools where 40% or more of students are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals. Maximum Award: $5,000. Deadline: May 15, 2008.


Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
National Science Foundation Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching recognize outstanding mathematics and science teachers. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspirations to their communities, and leaders in improving mathematics and science education. Maximum Award: $10,000. Eligibility: Teachers K-12 with at least five years of mathematics and/or science teaching experience prior to application, assigned to teach mathematics and/or science during the current year at a public or private school. Elementary (K-6) teachers must be assigned, at least half time during the year, to classroom teaching of mathematics or science or be grade K-6 teachers in self-contained classrooms. Deadline: May 1, 2008.


Gale/Library Media Connection TEAMS Award Honors Teacher and Media Specialist Collaborations
The Gale/Library Media Connection TEAMS Award recognizes and encourages the critical collaboration between the teacher and media specialist to promote learning and increase student achievement. All K-12 public and private schools in the U.S. and Canada are eligible to enter. The nomination may be submitted by library media specialist(s), teacher(s), principal(s), student(s) or parent(s). Cash awards of $2,500 plus reading materials will be given to three K-12 public and private schools in the United States and/or Canada that are working to improve student literacy through electronic and print means. Nomination deadline: April 28, 2008.


Grants for Athletics for Young Women
Women’s Sports Foundation GoGirlGo! Grants provide financial assistance to sports/physical activity programs seeking to add new or expand program participation opportunities for an under-served population of girls, particularly economically disadvantaged girls and/or girls from populations with high incidences of health-risk behaviors. School, amateur, community, and/or nonprofit organization whose program members are female, in 9th-12th grade and residents of the U.S are eligible to apply. Some area restrictions apply. Applicants must provide a minimum eight-week sports/physical activity program with preference given to organizations working consistently with girls throughout the year. Average Award: $5,700. Deadline: May 9, 2008.


Grants for Music Education
The Music is Revolution Foundation administers a grant program for activities designed by teachers to implement, support, and/or improve their ability to provide quality music education for their students. Funds may be used for supplies, materials, equipment, and transportation for a field trip and/or to bring a performer or musical group to the school. Maximum Award: $500. Deadline: April 15, 2008.


ING Unsung Heroes
The ING Unsung Heroes awards program recognizes innovative and progressive thinking in education through monetary awards. Full-time educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, classified staff members with effective projects that improve student learning at accredited K-12 public or private schools are eligible to apply. Maximum Award: $25,000. Application deadline: April 30, 2008.


The Lance Armstrong Foundation is challenging educators to get students involved in the fight against cancer. Participating classes will have the opportunity to win a visit from champion cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. Through LIVESTRONG at School, the foundation offers free online lessons to teach K-12 students about cancer in an age-appropriate and empowering way. To enter the LIVESTRONG at School contest, educators must complete a lesson from the LIVESTRONG at School curriculum and answer the question with their students, “What does LIVESTRONG mean to you?” Maximum Award: visit from Lance Armstrong. Eligibility: classes in schools K-12. Deadline: May 1, 2008.


Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale
Grants support efforts to increase participation among low-income school-age children in afterschool and summer meal programs. Awards range from $1,000 to $10,000. Deadline: May 30, 2008.


Staples Foundation Education Programs for Disadvantaged Youth
This fund supports programs that provide job skills and/or education for all people, with a special emphasis on disadvantaged youth. Deadline: June 16, 2008.

Scholarships and Awards


International Youth Foundation YouthActionNet Fellows
YouthActionNet Fellows are social entrepreneurs who participate in a week-long capacity-building workshop in Washington, DC. A key focus of the workshop is facilitating peer-to-peer learning and networking opportunities. Participants develop a customized learning plan based on individual leadership learning needs that is focused on six dimensions of leadership (personal, visionary, political, collaborative, organizational and societal). Eligibility: people ages 18 to 29; applicants should be founders of existing projects/organizations or leading a project within an organization. Maximum Award: all-expenses-paid trip to Washington DC, November 1-8, 2008. Deadline: May 15, 2008.


Scholarships for High School Students in Financial Need
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program selects high-achieving youth in the U.S. with financial needs and provides them, throughout their high school years, with individualized educational services that enable them to develop their talents and abilities. Eligibility: students entering the eighth grade in fall 2008 and planning to enter a U.S. high school, who also demonstrate financial need. Deadline: May 5, 2008.


Young Social Entrepreneurs Invited to Apply for YouthActionNet Global Fellowship Program
Young People working to bring about positive societal change in their communities are invited to apply for the YouthActionNet Global Fellows Program. Each year, 20 exceptional young social entrepreneurs are selected as YouthActionNet Global Fellows. The year-long fellowship program provides opportunities in skill-building, networking, and advocacy and is open to all young people between the ages of 18 and 29. Applicants should be founders of existing projects/organizations or leading a project within an organization. Proficiency in English is required; applications must be submitted in English. Applicants also must be available to attend the full retreat, November 1-8, 2008, in Washington, D.C. Application deadline: May 15, 2008.


Youth Award for Outstanding Activism in Environmental and Social Justice
The Earth Island Institute Brower Youth Award recognizes young people for their outstanding activism and achievements in the fields of environmental and social justice advocacy. Maximum Award: $3,000, a trip to California for the awards ceremony and a wilderness camping trip. Eligibility: youth ages 13 to 22. Deadline: May 15, 2008.

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End of Issue

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