February 27, 2004 - Chester Daily Local Online: The relationship between the two schools was established through a Friendship teacherís daughter, Thera Crain, who is in the Peace Corps and lives in a village near the school in Namibia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Namibia: Peace Corps Namibia : The Peace Corps in Namibia: February 27, 2004 - Chester Daily Local Online: The relationship between the two schools was established through a Friendship teacherís daughter, Thera Crain, who is in the Peace Corps and lives in a village near the school in Namibia

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The relationship between the two schools was established through a Friendship teacherís daughter, Thera Crain, who is in the Peace Corps and lives in a village near the school in Namibia



The relationship between the two schools was established through a Friendship teacherís daughter, Thera Crain, who is in the Peace Corps and lives in a village near the school in Namibia

A kiss for literacy
Tracy Behringer , Staff Writer 02/27/2004
WEST BRANDYWINE -- The kiss only lasted a matter of seconds, but ask any kid at Friendship Elementary School and he or she will tell you it was worth the monthlong wait to see it.

Dennis Giancola, Friendshipís principal, promised his students that he would kiss a frog if they could collect 416 books and $416 -- a book and a dollar for each of the 416 students at Friendship -- to donate to a school they have partnered with in Namibia, Africa.

The students met that challenge, and then some. They collected 722 books and more than $750.

"I expected some garden-variety pond frog, but then I saw this thing," Giancola said with a laugh. "They found this huge, ugly frog. I couldnít believe it."

Actually, the frog Giancola kissed on Thursday was an Argentine horned frog, which was on loan from the Frazer Zoo.

Most of the money collected for the event will go toward shipping costs for the books, which will be sent to Onanghulo Combined School for grades one through 10. Extra funds will be sent to help with expenses for the school, which is in a rural part of southwest Africa. Students in Namibia learn to read and speak English, the official language of the country.

The relationship between the two schools was established through a Friendship teacherís daughter, who is in the Peace Corps and lives in a village near the school in Namibia.

Lisa Marie Craneís daughter, Thera, has been in Africa since October 2000. She teaches African children there and initiated a pen pal program between the students at the two schools.

"Iím extremely proud of my daughter and Iím proud of the students here too," said Crane, who teaches second grade. "It was amazing to see how they responded to this challenge. They brought in books, some new and some well-loved from home libraries, and they brought in even more money. Some of them donated their snack money, their allowance, their savings."

Students from Craneís class said they donated books they had outgrown or grown tired of reading.

"I brought in a book about the Rug Rats," said Jennifer Jones, 8. "I was tired of reading it, but I did like it and I thought the other kids would like it too. It was kind of like an adventure."

Chase Thatcher, 7, is a first-grader at Friendship. He donated 10 books and 10 dollars of his own money.

"I had the 10 dollars, so I thought Iíd give it," he said with a shy smile. "It made me feel good."

The "book and a buck" program at Friendship began on Jan. 20 and ran until Feb. 20. When it became clear that the students would meet their goal, the fun really began. The school secretaries began to bring in frog toys, frog T-shirts, cut-outs of frogs and other frog items to tease Giancola of his impending kiss.

"My office is decorated to look like a lily pad," Giancola said.

But it wasnít all bad. For a special treat today they made Giancola a "frog float" made from mint ice cream, complete with whipped cream and marshmallow eyes.

"They really got into it," he said with a laugh.

©Daily Local News 2004




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Story Source: Chester Daily Local Online

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Namibia

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