This year Pennies for Peace (P4P) raised $40,000 to rebuild the Dasht School in Tajikistan through penny collections completed by school children and community groups across the U.S. and internationally. While we often give credit to the kids for collecting pennies and accomplishing their projects, on National Parents' Day we want to say thank you to the parents behind the scenes encouraging and helping their children along the way.
Earlier this year, we wrote about the urgent need to replace the Dasht School, a rural school in the Rushan district of Tajikistan whose Soviet-era walls were crumbling from years of harsh weather and a terrible earthquake that made it unsafe for students. Pennies for Peace (P4P), CAI’s service-learning program for students, teachers and community groups, has taken on this project with the goal of raising funds for a new school for the 60 children determined to get an education no matter where they have to learn.
Dasht School, in Tajikistan, is a story of unwavering faith in the power of education, despite obstacles both societal and natural. The people of Dasht and surrounding villages held classes for their children in unfinished classrooms too small to hold the number of children who want to learn.
The 25 teachers at Kindergarten #5, in Khorog, Tajikistan, are no exception. For nine hours a day, Monday through Friday, they wrangle 280 children as young as 1 1/2 years and as old as 5
Earlier this year, I received an email from Liz Raja, a fourth grade teacher at Halton Hills Christian School (HHCS) in Ontario, Canada. Mrs. Raja informed me that her students intended to write a book based on one of the Pennies for Peace lesson plans, “More Alike Than Unalike.”
Over the course of 40 days, she raised $235.24 in loose change from neighbors and classmates...in pennies alone she raised $61.50, that’s 6,150 pennies! We rolled a lot of coins and took them to the bank to have them cashed, and then we sent a check, to Pennies for Peace for $470.48!
Two of Ms. Kucharski’s classes, totaling fifty students, participated in Pennies for Peace this spring. “It was inspiring to see how much the students took ownership of the program.
This summer, five schools that have consistently demonstrated a commitment to peace and education will be awarded the Peace Leader Award.
Bozeman, Montana, CAI’s hometown, embraced a new chapter of our Pennies for Peace (P4P) program, launching initiatives around town. Events started on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (also recognized as the National Day of Service) and continued through the month of January. Along with fundraising efforts, including coin collections to go towards the promotion of education for girls and women in remote regions of Central Asia, the goal of the events was to raise awareness of the importance of giving back.