A group of fifth graders is ready to make change—by collecting it. I was impressed by this story, reported in the Longview Daily News about fifth grade girls who approached their principal about doing something for the people of Afghanistan. The request corresponded with a local Pennies for Peace campaign, leading up to a visit to Longview by Greg Mortensen, Nobel Peace prize nominee, author of Three Cups of Tea, and founder of the Central Asia Institute (CAI), which works to promote education in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A program of CAI, Pennies for Peace provides school curriculum on cultural issues and philanthropy in conjunction with a penny drive. The Longview school that raises the most money will get to send a delegation to meet Mortensen and give him the check.
The article indicates that the girls not only understood the work that Mortensen was doing, they were also excited about the prospect of meeting him and proud of the chance to help bring education to kids, especially girls, on the other side of the world.
At Global Washington, we are thrilled to hear that young students—tomorrow’s leaders—are aware of global issues and are already enthusiastic about making their world a better place. As participants in a broad-based, statewide coalition of academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and leading businesses, Global Washington members are uniquely positioned to coordinate and build a shared strategy for international education.
Since 2008, Global Washington has convened education experts from across the state to identify avenues for collaboration around this important topic. Our education working group is currently focusing on three areas: world languages, building a global classroom in the U.S. and abroad, and pedagogy and competence building.
We are convening three task forces around each of the education focus areas. We are also planning an International Education Conference in September and developing an advocacy plan to ensure that the development of a cohesive international education system is a critical policy issue for the state of Washington.
Please contact us if you’d like to get involved in our education work and help transform Washington State students into responsible global citizens and peacemakers.
These Longview students have the right idea. What are some of yours?