44th Annual National Peace Corps Week Kick-off Event at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderale, Florida

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: The Third Goal : The Peace Corps and the Third Goal: Returned Ghana Peace Corps Volunteer Roland Foulkes links Peace Corps WorldWise Schools with Broward County, Florida Public Schools in Fall 2004: 44th Annual National Peace Corps Week Kick-off Event at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderale, Florida

By Roland Foulkes (lib0915.mcl.nova.edu - on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 5:05 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Commemorates Its 44th Anniversary During Peace Corps Week – February 28 – March 6, 2005

Fort Lauderdale, February 6, 2005. Nearly 500 South Florida teachers attending the Broward Education Foundation’s 8th Annual Impact II Idea EXPO at Nova Southeastern University on Saturday, February 26, 2005 will get firsthand accounts of lives in other countries during a kick-off event for National Peace Corps Week, thanks to presentations by several of over 400 South-Florida-based former Peace Corps volunteers. They include Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Ghana, Nigeria, and India, among other countries. Their service across the globe span three decades and their presentations focus on their experiences while in those countries and the impact those experiences have had on their lives, careers, and worldviews since. Currently, all are residents of either Broward or Miami-Dade counties. Between 2:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M., they will explore the theme, “Promoting World Peace and Friendship: Then, Now, and in the Future.” in Nova’s Health Professions Division Auditoriums at 3200 South University Drive, Davie, Florida. The first 44 teachers to arrive and complete this Workshop / Panel Presentation (Session 1 D) will receive FREE copies of several books and a Wall map for their classrooms, Building Bridges: A Peace Corps Classroom Guide to Cross-Cultural Understanding, Voices from the Field: Reading and Writing About the World, Ourselves, and Others, Insights from the Field: Understanding Geography, Culture, and Service, Uncommon Journeys: Peace Corps Adventures Across Cultures, and the Wall Map “Promoting World Peace and Friendship...” The daylong EXPO begins at 8:30 A.M. and ends at 3:45 P.M. (http://www.browardschools.com/BEF/pdf/ideaswithimpact.pdf).

From February 28th through March 6, 2005, thousands of former Peace Corps volunteers, representing more than 130 countries of service, will share their overseas experiences in communities around the United States. Through these presentations during Peace Corps Week, former volunteers help raise awareness of the Peace Corps as a resource for U.S. educators who want to incorporate volunteers’ perspectives and stories in the classroom. They also highlight the opportunity to serve as a volunteer and the many benefits of Peace Corps service. Peace Corps Volunteers range in age from 18 to 83 and nearly 90% of them have earned undergraduate degrees, and some 10% have earned graduate degrees, prior to their Peace Corps service. Notable Returned Peace Corps Volunteers include Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Journalists Christopher Matthews and Maureen Orth, Corporate Executives Donald Putrimas (Warner Brothers), Gordon Radley (Lucasfilm), Priscilla Wrubel (The Nature Company), and Governors Jim Doyle (Wisconsin) and Robert Taft (Ohio). Local notables include President Dr. Donna Shalala (University of Miami), Mr. Alberto Ibarguen (Publisher, Miami Herald), and Mr. George I. Platt (Partner, Shutts and Bowen, LLP) and his wife, Anne.

The Peace Corp’s global education program, Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools, offers a variety of educational materials designed to engage students in grades 3 – 12 in inquiry about the world. Through the Peace Corps Partnership program, in collaboration with the National Geographic Society, individuals, schools, service organizations, religious groups, and Peace Corps volunteer alumni groups in the United States can get involved in direct and positive ways to address the impact of poverty in the hundreds of communities where Peace Corps volunteers live and work.

On September 21, 2004, school board members, other community leaders, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and potential Peace Corps Volunteers marked the national roll-out of the Peace Corp’s diversity curriculum, Building Bridges: A Peace Corps Classroom Guide to Cross-Cultural Understanding, in a daylong series of speeches, a keynote luncheon, and mini-workshop for Broward’s Human Relations Councils teachers and staff, at the Broward County School Board. Broward County is recognized as the first school district in the nation to fully adopt and implement this and related curricula – at no cost to the district!

Broward County's Multi-Ethnic Advisory Board (now, the Broward County Diversity Advisory Council) initiated this collaboration in 2003.

In recognition of this pioneering initiative, Washington-based Peace Corps Deputy Director Jody K. Olsen and Atlanta-based Peace Corps Southeast Regional Director Dr. John Eaves will present the School Board with a national award during National Peace Corps Week at the Kathleen Cooper Wright Building in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

“The service that former volunteers perform in their communities to help Americans better understand other peoples and cultures is immeasurable,” said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vazquez. “When former volunteers speak about their Peace Corps experiences, they share their deep understanding of people and cultures around the world. Their unique volunteer service demonstrates the heart of the Peace Corps --- the BEST of America.” The Peace Corps’ promotion of diversity as an integral part of American culture strengthens the American spirit both abroad and here at home.

Today, nearly 8,000 volunteers live and work in more than 70 nations around the globe. Peace Corps volunteers work in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS prevention education and awareness, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. For information about joining the Peace Corps, call 1-800-424-8580 (press 1) and speak to a local recruiter. To learn more about Peace Corps Week, call 1-800-424-8580 (press 2, then ext. 1961) or email pcday@peacecorps.gov. Or, visit the Peace Corps website at www.peacecorps.gov.

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