Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mendham Township Elementary School First Graders Participate in "Pennies for Peace" Campaign

Mendham Township Elementary School is starting a new and exciting program with 1st graders that will open their eyes to new countries in the world, and the children who live there. It is educational, but "Pennies for Peace" is a fun way to encourage children to give the gift of literacy to impoverished youngsters -- just a penny at a time.

A penny will buy a pencil in Pakistan or Afghanistan, and with that pencil a child can begin to learn, and with that learning they will spread hope and knowledge through their villages. With knowledge, the villagers can plan for a better economic future, and it will also enable them to better resist the teachings of extremist factions.

My kids have started collecting pennies -- searching the couch, the car, the laundry and raiding their piggy banks. While we're keeping the quarters to save for college, my first grader will bring her pennies in to school. Mendham Township Elementary School is providing glass storage banks for the pennies, and as they fill, the children can see what a big contribution they are making to another, less lucky child. The kids are learning an important lesson about caring and sharing with others, making a positive impact on a global scale, just a penny at a time.

For more about this program by the Central Asia Institute, or to start a Pennies for Peace campaign in your neighborhood, check online at to see some of the great work that has already begun. CAI is a non-profit that provides community-based education in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pennies for Peace can be reached by phone (in Bozeman, Montana) at (406) 585-7841.