Many of the 40 or 50 Juneauites who are returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) will be visiting Juneau classrooms between Feb. 28 and March 17, bringing the world home to students, encouraging the study of geography, promoting cultural awareness and illustrating the value of service. Every year in early March, Peace Corps Day commemorates the founding of the Peace Corps in 1961 during the presidency of John F. Kennedy. This year, Peace Corps Day is March 7, but Juneau RPCVs need two weeks to reach all the classrooms where teachers have requested talks by returned Peace Corps Volunteers. This activity is being coordinated by Judith Maier, formerly a Juneau teacher and more recently a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay.
All over the United States, thousands of returned volunteers, representing more than 100 Peace Corps countries, will share their overseas experiences with students. More than 150,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps since 1961. Today about 6,500 volunteers live and work in more than 80 nations around the globe. Their ages range from new college graduates to senior citizens nearly 80 years of age.
Peace Corps offers several other resources to classroom teachers. In the World Wise Schools program, the teacher can be put in touch with a Peace Corps volunteer currently serving overseas, or can obtain videos and teacher guides designed to introduce grades 3-12 to the cultures of the world, or can participate in the Technology Explorations Group, or can form active partnerships involving their students in service learning. To learn more, contact World Wise Schools, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone (800) 424-8580 (press 2, then ext. 1450). To learn more about the Peace Corps generally, visit their Web site at www.peacecorps.gov or phone (800) 424-8580.
Several of the more recently returned Peace Corps volunteers also are prepared to give illustrated talks before local clubs and organizations, but only after March 17. Interested groups seeking a speaker should contact me at 789-2084 or email@example.com after mid-March.
Juneau RPCVs who have not already signed up to visit one or more classrooms this March and would like to participate should phone Judith Maier at 789-9229 to get an assignment.