Philadelphia high school teachers for the first time are eligible for Lindback Distinguished Teaching Awards.

The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation's program, created in 1961, had been limited to colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Beginning in April, the foundation will annually award $3,500 to a teacher at each of the city's 62 high schools, foundation trustee Sheldon M. Bonovitz said. He and school district officials announced the program during yesterday's meeting of the School Reform Commission.

"Thank you for your effort," said Sandra Dungee Glenn, commission chairwoman. "This is tremendous."

- Martha Woodall