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Imlay City grads part of historic 1960s study


American Institutes for Research seeks follow up on progress in life from high school Class of 1961



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June 22, 2011
IMLAY CITY — Though 1961 unfolded a long time ago, Gloria Howe vaguely remembers taking part in a survey circulated at Imlay City High School.

The longtime Almont resident was a junior in high school then. She recalls a postcard or some such thing circulated around, asking students to respond to some forward thinking questions.

As it turns out, Howe and the rest of the Imlay City High School Class of 1961 are a permanent part of a historic study that tracks 400,000 high school students from around the country f.or 50 years. Called 'Project Talent,' the study is conducted by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and the United States Office of Education.

Howe and her fellow '61 grads are again being asked to participate by telling their stories in a follow up study being planned by AIR.

"The Project Talent generation is very important in the history of the country," says Sabine Horner, Project Talent's Director of Outreach and Communications in a press release.

"They came of age during an era of great upheaval and they transformed the United States as we knew it," Horner continued. "Project Talent is an opportunity to share their perspectives and experiences in a meaningful way that can benefit future generations."

According to the press release, AIR's Project Talent study focused on the aptitudes, abilities, hopes and expectations of participating students. With the follow up fifty years later, researchers hope to make connections between early life experiences and later life outcomes.

"Large studies that follow people from adolescence to retirement are both rare and extremely valuable," the press release says. "New information gained from a 50 year follow-up study can help researchers and policy makers understand how family and educational background impact the life course, up to and including the retirement process."

Researchers also hope to gain insight into why some people remain healthier, happier and more able to enjoy their later life.

Members of the Imlay City High School Class of 1961 are asked to call 1-866-770-6077, e-mail projecttalent50@air.org or log onto www.projecttalent.org to register or for more information.

Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.
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