Thursday, June 17, 2004; Page B03
Group Wants Zoo to Refashion Kids' Farm
Compassion Over Killing, a D.C.-based animal rights group, has asked the National Zoo to modify its new Kids' Farm exhibit to inform visitors more accurately about commercial farming and the source of food.
"In the United States, 98 to 99 percent of farmed birds live in intensive confinement systems that bear little resemblance to Kids' Farm," Paul Shapiro, the group's campaign director, wrote zoo Director Lucy H. Spelman this week.
Shapiro said some of the exhibit's graphics misinform the public about the treatment of chickens and ducks on commercial farms, where such animals often do not have access to outdoor yards or ponds. He said the exhibit should include mock-ups or photographs of actual commercial farms, or focus on plant-based agriculture and "heart-healthy fruits and vegetables."
Zoo spokeswoman Peper Long said Kids' Farm "is not an exhibit about the industrial farming business" but rather an effort to provide young children with an introduction to animal care and the basics of where some food might come from.
Catholic U. to Reconsider NAACP Chapter
The president of Catholic University said yesterday that he will re-evaluate his decision to bar an NAACP chapter on campus, but not until students return in the fall for more discussions.
The Rev. David M. O'Connell met on campus yesterday with Kweisi Mfume, president and chief executive of the NAACP. He reiterated his concerns about overlapping student organizations and the NAACP's support of abortion rights, according to participants in the meeting.
Mfume, who has called the NAACP ban discriminatory, threatened legal action if O'Connell does not reverse his decision. Mfume said an NAACP chapter would not engage in any activities contrary to the school's mission.
William Jawando, 21, a student who spent the school year trying to organize the chapter, said NAACP supporters do not want further delays and are planning 90 days of "picketing and protest" to oppose the ban.
Voucher Program Picks Grant Recipients
The group running the District's new school voucher program, which provides federal funding for low-income families to send their children to private schools, held a lottery yesterday to determine which students would receive the grants.
Using computer software, the Washington Scholarship Fund selected 1,249 students to receive the vouchers of up to $7,500 in tuition and expenses. The students were chosen out of 1,725 eligible applicants.
Of those selected, 1,049 attend public schools or are about to enter kindergarten. The remaining 200 attend private schools.
Parents of all of the students in the lottery should receive phone calls today to inform them of the results, according to the scholarship fund.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company