07 March 2006

Peace Corps Week

Last week, the Peace Corps celebrated its 45th anniversary. The Peace Corps was founded by John F Kennedy in 1961. The DR was one of the first countries, welcoming volunteers in 1962. We have had 44 years of uninterrupted service here in the DR in areas such as forestry, education (now including technology ed), business, health, and water to name a few. Next year the DR will celebrate our 45th anniversary.
One of the programs of the Peace Corps is World Wise Schools (WWS). This project connects volunteers all over the world with classrooms in the US to fulfill the third goal of the Peace Corps: to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of all Americans. I have the joy of being connected to my mom's first grade class (see their blog). To celebrate the 45th anniversary of Peace Corps, CWWS held a contest with the schools for a 40-minute phone call with their volunteer. My first graders put together an excellent letter explaining why they should win the phone call, and they were one of 40-some schools that won.
Last Thursday I made a trip to the office in the capital to receive the phone call. The class had prepared questions about my life, my family, my work here, as well as how people live here. I was very impressed by their questions and the way they paid such careful attention during the phone call! I hope they got a taste of life in the DR, and I look forward to my continuing contacts with them!
See www.peacecorps.gov/wws for more information on World Wise Schools, including lesson plans and volunteer matching.


Mrs. Stearns' First Grade said...

dear jessica,
it was a thrilling experience to be able to hear your voice as you answered my First Grader's questions. They enjoy reading your blog and learning more about the culture of the DR. The children look forward to hearing about your next adventure there. Parents and Mr. Wells, who came to listen that day, were very impressed with the questions and your answers, and have mentioned it to other people.
Thanks for the great job.

Tyler's Mom - Misty said...

Dear Jessica,

I am a parent who was able to attend the phone call. My son, Tyler, was so excited to ask you his questions and was even more thrilled that I was able to be there with the class too. You did a wonderful job which I was confident that you would because your mother is a wonderful teacher. I still find it hard to believe that someone so beautiful and smart would choose to live in a place so unlike home here. That takes heart! Good luck in all you do and I hope your mother's ankle heals in time for her visit. Stay Safe and thank you again