March 1, 2003: Headlines: COS - China: PCVs in the Field - China: Third Goal: PC Day: North County Times : Grapevine students talk to China PCV Erica Armstrong

Peace Corps Online: Directory: China: Peace Corps China : The Peace Corps in China: March 1, 2003: Headlines: COS - China: PCVs in the Field - China: Third Goal: PC Day: North County Times : Grapevine students talk to China PCV Erica Armstrong

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 8:40 pm: Edit Post

Grapevine students talk to China PCV Erica Armstrong

Grapevine students talk to China PCV Erica Armstrong

Grapevine students talk to China
Candice Reed
for the North County Times

VISTA ---- A long distance phone call Friday was one of the most exciting things to happen to the students this academic year in Terry Armstrong's and Louise Haverty's Title I Reading group at Grapevine Elementary School, the teachers said.
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In celebration of National Peace Corps Day, the call was placed from the class to China, where a group of college freshmen and a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer waited to speak with students armed with questions.

Grapevine was one of numerous locales throughout the country where corps volunteers and former volunteers visited to share their experiences. They shared the stories of their years as volunteers and how their experiences changed and shaped their lives.

Since 1961, more than 163,000 volunteers have served in 135 countries in the cause of peace and friendship across the globe, Peace Corps representatives said. Now, about 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers live and work in more than 70 nations where they teach English, and lend a hand in agriculture, health and technology.

The information made an impression on Vista students such as Krystle Costello, 9, of Vista, who said she someday hopes to join the Peace Corps as a doctor or teacher.

Yet, for the young students at Grapevine, the most exciting aspect of the Peace Corps visit was the opportunity to talk to someone in China.

"I wanted to know why they take their shoes off when they walk inside the house," said Krystle. "They told me that it's dirty outside and they sit on the floor a lot. That made sense."

Armstrong was almost as elated as her students. Her daughter, former Carlsbad teacher Erica Armstrong, was on the other end of the phone line as the Peace Corps liaison with the students in China.

"My daughter loves being in the Peace Corps," Armstrong said. "It went really, really well and the kids were just so excited."

After being disconnected twice, the children lined up to ask questions they had planned out in advance. The students on the other end of the phone in Minyang, China had stayed up until 1 a.m. to speak with the children.

"It was so good of the students in China and the Peace Corps workers who dropped by our classroom," Armstrong said. "A lot of these students struggle with reading and are (English language learners). So to communicate with people on the other side of the world meant so much to them."

Ruben Payen, 10, of Vista, said he would like to volunteer when he got older and would like to travel, but he was a little puzzled by some things he had heard about China, as indicated by his question to the Chinese students.

"I wanted to know why boys are so important and girls don't mean a lot," Ruben said. "They told me that boys take care of their parents when they get old and girls take care of their husbands, so that's why (girls) are important.

"I guess I understand. I just know that in the Peace Corps you get to help people in other countries and that's a good thing."


When this story was prepared, here was the front page of PCOL magazine:

This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: North County Times

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - China; PCVs in the Field - China; Third Goal; PC Day



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