Beacon Heights Elementary School of the Salt Lake School District will be the first school in the nation to use a new computer-based writing curriculum developed by the international education fraternity Phi Delta Kappa.

Tandy Corp. will provide computer software, materials, training and equipment worth about $50,000 to the elementary school in a cooperative effort with educational fraternity.Beacon Heights is one of four schools nationwide that will pilot the curriculum, which focuses on the process of writing. Jim McGrody, vice president of Tandy Corp.'s education division, said the software encourages students to talk about their experiences then write about them.

"The focus is not on computer literacy. It is on the act of writing," McGrody said, in a press conference Thursday afternoon in Gov. Norm Bangerter's office.

The school should begin using the curriculum by March 15. The curriculum also will be piloted in elementary schools in Florida, Minnesota and the Fort Worth, Texas, area, which is near Tandy's headquarters.