Education: Pennies for Peace

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cannon School students have embarked on a “Pennies for Peace” campaign to raise funds for a literacy program for children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The campaign, which runs now through March 16, is a joint effort between sixth- and seventh-grade students, the Middle School Diversity Club and the Lower School Student Council.
A penny in the villages of Pakistan and Afghanistan can buy a pencil, start an education and transform a life. In a region where terrorist organizations recruit uneducated children, that pencil can empower a child to read, write and learn. Cannon students benefit from learning altruism and the study of the cultures of two important Central Asian nations.
“Children in over 400 mountain villages in remote northern Pakistan and Afghanistan are on the waiting list, hoping to learn in a new school,” said Megan Thompson, middle school counselor.
One penny can buy a pencil, while 15 pennies buys one notebook. One child’s school supplies for one year can be bought with $20, and $300 can provide funding for one advanced student’s annual scholarship; $600 provides a teacher’s annual salary. The operations of an existing school can be funded with $5,000, while $50,000 can build a new school and support its operations for up to five years.
The Pennies for Peace campaign is a program of Central Asia Institute (CAI), founded by Greg Mortenson, author of the bestselling book, “Three Cups of Tea.”
CAI is a nonprofit organization that provides community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Central Asia. Founded in 1996, CAI has built nearly 100 schools serving more than 28,000 students in Afghanistan and Pakistan.