The students at Evelyn E. Marcelli Elementary School have once again joined hands with tens of thousands of other school children around the world who share the vision and dedication to empower communities through education in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. For the second year, Marcelli’s students will support the Pennies for Peace campaign, which isintended to encourage children to learn the value of philanthropy by collecting pennies and broaden their cultural horizons as they become members of a global family dedicated to peace.
Over the course of their involvement with the project, Marcelli students had the opportunity to study the cultures of Afghanistan and Pakistan, learn to work and share together in their campaign, and got to work collecting pennies!. Donations of pennies were also received from members of the community. At the end of the campaign, which concluded in May 2009, the counting began, class by class, penny by penny. The collection totaled $409, and the Marcelli School family received a Certificate of Appreciation from Greg Mortenson and the Pennies for Peace Foundation.
How can a penny bring peace? While it may not buy much in St. Thomas, it can buy a pencil, start an education, and transform a life in the villages of Pakistan and Afghanistan. In a region where terrorist organizations recruit uneducated, illiterate children, that pencil can empower a child to read, write, and learn.
The Marcelli collections began on May 10 and will continue through June 11. Each classroom teacher will be given a bottle in which to collect pennies. Every week tallies will be made and the class collecting the most pennies for that week will have a banner placed on the classroom door which reads Pennies for Peace Proud Participant.
Children in over 400 mountain villages in remote northern Pakistan and Afghanistan are on the waiting list, hoping to learn in a new school. Evelyn E. Marcelli Elementary School students hope to help build a bridge of peace, one penny at a time, offering alternatives to the cycle of terrorism and war.
The campaign is a program of Central Asia Institute (CAI), founded by Greg Mortenson, author of the No. 1 New York Times best seller, “Three Cups of Tea.” CAI is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that promotes and provides community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Central Asia. Founded in 1996, CAI has built, to date, nearly 100 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which serve more than 28,000 students, 14,000 of whom are girls. Mortenson’s story and more information about CAI can be found on the web at www.ikat.org.
To find out more about the Evelyn Marcelli School’s Pennies for Peace campaign,contact Angela Carty, assistant principal, or Merle Howard, resource teacher, at 774-2966.