Teacher Meta Cadugan from the CDTRC School on our Bethlehem, PA, Campus got her students involved in “Pennies for Peace” by having them read Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson. They also watched videos on the organization’s Web site and became excited about helping children on the other side of the world. The students of classroom 209 organized their campaign to collect pennies for schools and supplies for children in Pakistan and Afghanistan who have little opportunity for education. The KidsPeace students decorated coffee cans and made posters to encourage other students and staff members to contribute to their cause and also conducted research into the education systems in the two countries. They learned that girls in those countries are often not able to attend school, but that Pennies for Peace worked hard to educate both girls and boys. They also learned that a penny can purchase a pencil in those countries, and $20 can pay for a child’s school supplies for a full year.
During the month of May, each classroom collected pennies for the campaign, which is directed by the Central Asia Institute. Since 1996, the institute has built nearly 100 schools that teach 14,000 boys and 14,000 girls. Classroom 203 collected the greatest number of pennies, and the school raised $80 in total. This project turned out to cross over from a social studies lesson to a math class when the students had to count out and roll all of the pennies. The pennies were exchanged for a check at the business office, and the children sent the check off to Pennies for Peace. It was a source of great pride for the students.