December 29, 2003 - Glasgow Associated Press: Peace Corps Volunteer Angie Hunter helps Schoolkids exchange letters with Ecuador

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ecuador: Peace Corps Ecuador : The Peace Corps in Ecuador: December 29, 2003 - Glasgow Associated Press: Peace Corps Volunteer Angie Hunter helps Schoolkids exchange letters with Ecuador

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-232-99.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.232.99) on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 10:57 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps Volunteer Angie Hunter helps Schoolkids exchange letters with Ecuador



Peace Corps Volunteer Angie Hunter helps Schoolkids exchange letters with Ecuador

Schoolkids exchange letters with Amazon

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE -- Some schoolchildren in eastern Jefferson County are learning about life in the Amazon rain forest by exchanging letters with children there.

Eight-year-old Mitch Sirianno of Simpsonville, a third-grader at St. Patrick's Catholic School, has had a few realizations.

"They like soccer," he said. "There's monkeys that come in their houses, and there's a lot of snakes out there."

St. Patrick's teacher Vicki Peterworth and Peace Corps volunteer Angie Hunter set up the project.

Peterworth said the experience has become a cross-cultural learning exchange that is helping students in the Amazon and in Louisville understand each other's language, customs and lives.

"When Angie joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Ecuador, I thought, 'Wow, this would be really neat to be able to pen-pal with her,"' Peterworth said. "She's way out in the rain forest in a tiny village, and she's kind of paired up the kids down there with the kids in my class. Of course, Angie has to translate every single letter."

The rewards have been worth the effort, said Hunter, a friend of Peterworth's daughter.

"I just had no idea my students in the village would be so curious and so excited, and that the kids at St. Patrick's would be so caring and so interested," said Hunter, who serves as the village's health and nutrition volunteer and a substitute teacher.

Sirianno said the children from Ecuador often want to know what it's like to live in Kentucky and go to school at St. Patrick's, and what kinds of toys and pets children here play with.

Sometimes the village children send necklaces or other small handmade items as gifts. In return, Sirianno and his schoolmates send toothbrushes, toothpaste and McDonald's toys.

Hunter, 22, is home from Ecuador on holiday leave until early January. She hopes to return on Jan. 5 with 55 backpacks filled with school supplies that students from St. Patrick's are sending.

"The kids are going to be so excited when I get back," she said. "In my village they, for the most part, can't afford school supplies."

Although the village is predominantly Catholic and observes Christmas with family meals and worship services, few gifts are exchanged.

"The kids at St. Patrick's third grade really didn't understand. 'How could they not have Santa Claus?"' said Hunter, who visited Peterworth's class a few days ago.

"A lot of the backpacks have Dr. Seuss' 'Cat In The Hat' in them," Hunter said. "I've been reading a lot of Dr. Seuss in Spanish to the school kids, and they're going to be so excited."




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Story Source: Glasgow Associated Press

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ecuador; World Wise Schools

PCOL9350
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By Anonymous (cache-los-aa03.proxy.aol.com - 195.93.21.3) on Sunday, July 03, 2005 - 11:57 am: Edit Post

Hi Angie,Re COS-Equadore;World Wise Schools PCOL9350 Thank you for sharing your experiences, it is very heart warming to read about. lots of love from all of us in UK.


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