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PMSA Students Join National Campaign “Pennies for Peace”

The students of Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy have joined a national campaign with tens of thousands of other schoolchildren around the world to help empower communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan through education.

“We were inspired to do this after reading the story ‘SOLD’ which talks about what children in countries like Nepal, Afghanistan, and Pakistan experience,” said PMSA Senior Derek Ayeh. “I don’t think I’d ever be able to know what it feels like to grow up in a country where having a cup of tea is a luxury. So, to be able to give to them and do something to make their lives easier is a great achievement.”

In a time where some people throw away or ignore pennies, PMSA students are collecting “Pennies for Peace.” How can a penny bring peace? It doesn’t buy much in Forest Park, Bellwood, Maywood, and other local communities. But in the villages in Pakistan and Afghanistan, it can buy a pencil, start an education, and transform a life. In a region where terrorist organizations recruit uneducated, illiterate children, that pencil can empower a child to read, write, and learn.

The Pennies for Peace program’s goal is to encourage children, who are ultimately our future leaders, to learn the value of philanthropy by collecting pennies for global peace.

“More people should be aware of this campaign so they can get involved too,” said PMSA Junior Wilver Ceballos. “It’s very good that we are able to help the less fortunate in other countries.”

PMSA students will continue to study the cultures of Afghanistan and Pakistan, learn to work and share together in their Pennies for Peace campaign, and come to understand their own capacity as philanthropists—one penny at a time. Pennies will be collected in the LRC and other locations throughout the school. The students are also contacting nearby villages and businesses to join. The campaign goes through May 1st.

About Pennies for Peace:

The pennies that PMSA students collect can add up to make a real difference.

1 penny = a pencil
2-3 pennies = an eraser
15 pennies = one notebook
$20 = one child’s school supplies for one year
$50 = one treadle sewing machine and supplies
$100 = maternal healthcare supplies for one year
$300 = one advanced student’s annual scholarship
$600 = one teacher’s annual salary
$5,000 = support for existing school for one year
$50,000 = one school building and support for up to five years

Children in over 400 mountain villages in remote northern Pakistan and Afghanistan are on the waiting list, hoping to learn in a new school. PMSA students hope to help build a bridge of peace, one penny at a time, offering alternatives to the cycle of terrorism and war.

The Pennies for Peace campaign is a program of Central Asia Institute (CAI), founded by Greg Mortenson, author of the #1 New York Times best seller, Three Cups of Tea. CAI is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit 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. Greg’s story and more information about CAI can be found on the web at www.ikat.org.

To find out more about PMSA’s Pennies for Peace campaign, please contact Suzette Gacek, Learning Resource Center Coordinator at sgacek@pths209.org, or call (708) 338-4150.

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