December 27, 2004: Headlines: COS - Georgia: Greeley Tribune: Lauren Miller is a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at a school in Khashuri, a town in the Republic of Georgia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Georgia: Peace Corps Georgia : The Peace Corps in Georgia: December 27, 2004: Headlines: COS - Georgia: Greeley Tribune: Lauren Miller is a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at a school in Khashuri, a town in the Republic of Georgia

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Lauren Miller is a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at a school in Khashuri, a town in the Republic of Georgia

Lauren Miller is a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at a school in Khashuri, a town in the Republic of Georgia

Lauren Miller is a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at a school in Khashuri, a town in the Republic of Georgia

Peace Corps volunteer leads drive to repair school's dilapidated gym

Leah Franklin
December 27, 2004

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Lauren Miller remembers band practices in the gymnasium at Greeley Central High School.

Though she took the oversized room's electricity, heat and windows for granted at the time, she now sees those as luxuries.

Miller is a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at a school in Khashuri, a town in the Republic of Georgia. The school needs about

$4,000 to repair its dilapidated gym, and Miller is hoping Greeley residents will be able to help.

"The school is a mess," she said. "After the fall of the Soviet Union, everything fell into ruin."

There is no physical education in the winter because the gym is unsafe and falling apart. Before Miller's run with the Peace Corps ends next summer, she wants to make sure the gym will have the necessary repairs. The funding would go toward repairs such as replacing the floors, walls, windows and doors. The students and their families have agreed to do all of the labor. The city government has given $667 toward the project and repaired part of the structure's roof, but a poor economy has meant the government can't afford to give any more assistance.

Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at www.peacecorps. com. Miller, who is in charge of the project, will be required to present forms and receipts to supervisors for every expense. She had experts assess how much the repairs would cost.

"I was shocked that it would only cost ($4,000)," she said. "It will give so much hope to the kids to see actual progress. Everyone is just in despair over the economy."

The functional gym will mean that the school can start offering programs that will encourage team work, leadership and confidence in the students. One relic of the Soviet system is the concentration on independent learning. Students are expected to read a book, memorize the information and report on it the next day. The Peace Corps is working on bringing communicative methods and group skills to the education system there.

After graduating from Central High School in 1998, Miller attended Abilene Christian University in Texas. She majored in French, international studies, history and education. Before beginning the Peace Corps, she was a student teacher at schools in Texas and substituted at University High School and Dayspring Christian Schools in Greeley. She said one of the most obvious differences between the education here and in Georgia is the disparity between different skill levels.

Most American students in the same grade are of about the same skill level because students are held back if they do not learn what they must. Students in Georgia who can afford tutors are favored in class because the teachers are dependent on the additional income from tutoring to make ends meet. Miller said the teacher she works with earns the equivalent to $40 a month.

"There are a lot of physical elements to deal with there that wouldn't be an issue here," she said. "I just hope everyone will give what they can. These kids have such a hard life, and the gym would really give them hope and motivation for the future."


Go to Click on "Donate Now" in the lower-left corner. Next, click on the Eastern European and Central Asia link. Scroll down and click on the project listed as "Georgia -- Gymnasium Repairs -- Khashuri -- Volunteer L. Miller of CO." A receipt will be sent to you from the Peace Corps.

When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Greeley Tribune

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



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