"Planning for the future" is one of those phrases, like "floss after every meal," that sounds like a good idea . . . and often inspires procrastination.
When the planning involves a state full of a million people with often contradictory goals, the phrase can even inspire inertia.But not if Project 2000 can help it.
The public, non-profit organization has spent the past four years providing provocative, sometimes even playful, ways for Utahns to think about the issues facing the state as the year 2000 approaches. Among its efforts:
-Twenty-one documentaries produced either by KUTV or KUED, plus articles in the Deseret News and the Ogden Standard Examiner. Issues explored have included water, the workplace, education, economic development and the changing Utah family.
-A community outreach program that has provided documentaries and written material to interested civic groups and private citizens, as well as to classrooms around the state. Project 2000 is also included in the core curriculum requirements for all seventh-graders in Utah.
-A "Futures Curriculum" is being planned to introduce critical thinking skills to school districts around the state. A pilot project will begin this summer in a dozen districts.
-Town meetings sponsored by Project 2000 in St. George, Cedar City and Price. Future town meetings are planned for Cache County and Park City.
-Kidspeak, a project designed to give Utah children a voice in future planning. The program has included a survey of 7,000 students statewide, and has resulted in classroom proj-ects encouraging students to solve community problems. Students from Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City were inspired to tackle toxic waste in their neighborhood, and went on to receive the National Community Problem Solving Award last year. Kidspeak also sponsored a Kidspeak Tour last summer and plans another tour this year.