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College Joins Philadelphia Grade School in Pennies for Peace Effort

SIOUX FALLS – A year ago Augustana College was a participant in the Pennies for Peace campaign, an effort that raised $12,000 locally for the Central Asia Institute.

The drive continues this year and Augustana has teamed up with a sixth grade class in Philadelphia, where Nick Jackson, class of 2008, is teaching. Below, Nick explains why he wants his students to read Three Cups of Tea and participate in Pennies for Peace.

“First Philadelphia Charter serves a diverse student body composed of children from all over the city, from all ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. This is a school for students whose families understand how important literacy is to achievement in all academic areas. It will nurture a love, respect and appreciation for reading so that children are able to achieve. At First Philadelphia Charter School for Literacy about 91 percent of our students are living in poverty.

“I decided to implement Pennies for Peace because the school does a coin drive every year and I thought it would be great to unite the whole school as a community and work toward a common cause. I was involved in Pennies for Peace when I was a student teacher at Hawthorne (Sioux Falls), so this is where I got the idea. The students are extremely excited about this and bring in their loose change every day. I also decided to implement the reading of Three Cups of Tea, the young adult version, into the curriculum. For the next two months in social studies class, the sixth-graders will be reading the book and discussing such topics as community, global citizenship, geography, economy, generosity, cause and effect, etc; the list goes on and on.”

Founded by author/humanitarian Greg Mortenson, Pennies for Peace is a program dedicated to educating American children about the world beyond their experience and shows them they can make a positive impact on a global scale - one penny at a time. Mortenson, who spoke at Augustana in September, 2008, is also co-founder of the Central Asia Institute, a non-profit organization that has built more than 70 schools in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is also the co-author of Three Cups of Tea, a New York Times best-seller.

As a partner in First Philadelphia Charter’s Pennies for Peace effort, Augustana is accepting contributions until Friday, December 11. Donation jars are located in the Morrison Commons’ Huddle and Bookstore. Susan Bies is coordinating the Augustana effort and can be reached at 605.274.5503 or susan.bies@augie.edu.