Educators participating in the Correspondence Match and Speakers Match programs share their experiences.
5,379 miles is a long way to go to tell students how to cook a chicken in a mud stove.
This and other lessons learned were addressed by current Peace Corps volunteer Molly Rosett, serving in Benin, Africa. Molly has been my class’s correspondence match since August and as part of her vacation, she spent part of her precious time in the United States talking to her pen pals.
I am so deeply touched and honored that Molly would travel such a distance (my school is in rural North Carolina, not close to many urban areas or airports). Her actions show her obvious passion for the Peace Corps and relay her belief in the importance of educating students about service to others.
As an educator, it was so valuable for me to see students engaged in a potential life outside of iPods and television media. One of the lessons Molly addresses (other than being resourceful and environmentally conscience) was learning to truly enjoy the company of others.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in 7th grade or in the real-world, that is a valuable lesson.
Sara Kelleher, National Teaching Fellow, Henderson, NC
My Spanish 1 and 2 high school students are thoroughly enjoying letters, audio clips and photographs from your excellent Peace Corps Volunteer, Ms. Lisa Bevell. They are amazed that someone they have never met is taking the time to share a new world with them. She has dispelled many myths and stereotypes about Thailand, and I have had several students express an interest in visiting one day.
Wendy S. Stuck, Denbigh High School, Newport News, VA
Mr. Peterson went above and beyond the call of duty in every manner. He exchanged letters with our sixth graders (over 60) and included extreme detail responding to each of their letters personally. The students loved and were encouraged by his responses.
Mr. Peterson then went above and beyond when we planned a Skype (video conference) with him and our sixth grade students. The session lasted close to an hour and he made the experience very informative yet fun and engaging. Shortly afterward, Ryne sent a PowerPoint presentation that entailed 25 or more pictures of Moldova (his village and the capital) which was a perfect culminating activity to do with our students. We loved the pictures which captured the culture and really allowed the visual learners to make even more connections.
My homeroom students presented the PowerPoint presentation to the Board of Education during an evening meeting where parents and the Board could ask them questions regarding Moldova after wards. The students’ enthusiasm shined during the presentation and the administrative staff was proud and gloating about this experience.
I would like to take the credit, but I cannot. Without the help from Ryne Peterson and extreme dedication throughout this learning experience the students would not have learned nearly as much. On behalf of the students, staff, and parents of PACE Academy we would like to extend a warm thank you to Mr. Peterson for all of his efforts that did not go unnoticed.
Jean Chlebek, Sixth Grade Teacher
On Monday, May 23, 2011, Peace Corps teacher Esther Lattin visited Woodland Elementary School in Puyallup, Washington. Fourth and fifth graders had the amazing opportunity to listen to Miss Lattin's stories and then ask questions about life in Malawi. One of my students, on his "I Learned" paper, summed up what we learned. He wrote "I learned to appreciated what I have!" Wow.
Thank you for the opportunity to be partnered with such a caring and delightful teacher. Miss Lattin inspired all of us.
Katie Anderson, Puyallup, WA
Thank you for your wonderful presentation to my Girl Scout troop a few weeks ago. The girls really enjoyed it as did I.
Just last night we had our first meeting since your presentation, and I asked the girls about their favorite part of your talk. Many of them recalled how much of the work in the village fell to women, how the women and girls carried the firewood on their heads, and how the people ate with their hands.
The Friday evening after your presentation the troop visited the Indianapolis International Festival. There was a booth there sponsored by a group of African nations (unfortunately, I can't recall the name of the group), and the booth featured a large wall map of Africa. The girls spotted the map and immediately went over & identified Niger on the map!
Perhaps the greatest impact you made with your presentation was on one of my scouts, who reported last night that she thinks she would very much like to be a Peace Corps volunteer when she's older. She was very enthusiastic, and was very impressed with your experiences in Niger. Before your presentation, this girl had not heard of the Peace Corps (other than me promoting your presentation at earlier meetings).
I sincerely thank you for your very thorough, entertaining and educational presentation. Your sharing of your personal experiences has made a lasting impact on the members of our Girl Scout troop.
Julie Dunlap, Girl Scout Troop leader
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