Daily Archives: November 14, 2009

Hurray!

Peace Corps Returns to Sierra Leone

Freetown

Date: November 2, 2009
Contact: PAO Danna Van Brandt
Tel: 022-515-000 or 076-515-000

November 2, 2009 – United States and Sierra Leone government officials signed an agreement to reestablish a Peace Corps program in Sierra Leone after a 16 year absence. Glenn Fedzer, the Chargé d’Affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Freetown, and Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Zainab Hawa Bangura, signed an agreement to officially re-establish Peace Corps/Sierra Leone at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Freetown. Mr. Fedzer was accompanied by Lynn Foden, Peace Corps’ acting regional director for Africa.

“We are delighted that the government of Sierra Leone has invited Peace Corps volunteers to return and work shoulder to shoulder with the people of Sierra Leone,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. “The partnership between Peace Corps and Sierra Leone was established in the era of President Kennedy, and it is an honor and a privilege for us to have the opportunity to work with the communities of Sierra Leone once again.”

The first group of approximately 40 Peace Corps volunteers is scheduled to arrive in Sierra Leone in June, with additional Peace Corps Response Volunteers also arriving in 2010. The volunteers will focus on secondary education in public schools and work together with communities on grassroots initiatives and community development throughout the country.

“On behalf of Ambassador June Carter Perry, I am honored to participate in the signing of this agreement welcoming the Peace Corps back to Sierra Leone,” said Chargé d’Affaires Glenn Fedzer. “This ceremony is the culmination of the dedication of dozens of Americans and Sierra Leoneans, including President Ernest Bai Koroma, U.S. State Department and Peace Corps officials, and many former Peace Corps volunteers who continue to serve the people of Sierra Leone long after their return to the United States.”

Ambassador Perry has been involved with Peace Corps for 40 years and handled the celebration of Peace Corps’ 20th anniversary for national and international media as Public Affairs Director in Washington.  She stated, “We congratulate both the Government of Sierra Leone and the Peace Corps leadership for this enormous step in our bilateral relationship and in the education of Sierra Leone’s youth.'”  Her predecessor in Freetown, Ambassador Thomas Hull, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, also worked closely to ensure that the United States Government would realize this day.

Peace Corps/Sierra Leone was first established in 1962 when 37 Americans volunteered to serve as secondary school teachers. Since 1962, more than 3,400 Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers in Sierra Leone.

As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with 7,671 volunteers serving in 75 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. To learn more about the Peace Corps, please visit our website: http://www.peacecorps.gov.

Leave a comment

Filed under Other

In the Classroom: Independent Reading and Nonfiction

“I like adventures. Not atlases!” was my 11-year-old nephew’s reaction to recent probing by this auntie of his reading habits.

I should have known better. Anthony Horowitz warned in a recent interview about the perils of “auntie’s choice” when it comes to what kids read: “Children choose the books they want to read. Children’s books belong to children; they’re not something that your auntie picks out for you at Christmas any more.”

And of course said nephew is a big Alex Rider fan. But perhaps I could persuade him to broaden out into the world of non-fiction if Anthony Horowitz follows through on a suggestion that came up at the Battle of Ideas festival. When an audience member raised the question of non-fiction for children, Anthony responded that he had long considered writing something for children about the Trojan wars or perhaps even biography. Excited by the prospect? You betcha. And it brought back all the non-fiction books which formed part of my childhood reading.

That is the beginning of Shirley Dent‘s lovely recollection of her own childhood reading of nonfiction and fiction.  I have to confess to having been a narrative girl — be it Helen Keller’s autobiography, a book on Albert Schweitzer, or one of those Childhood of Famous Americans (don’t worry, I know they are faction) — I liked my facts presented as story.  I can’t remember any books of the sort Shirley describes, but I suspect I read them too just as she did, right next to the stories I was also reading.

images

These days my students, like the above-referenced-nephew, gravitate to fiction, but I do see them with nonfiction as well  — biographies of real-life folks that interest them (sports, entertainment, and history personalities),  weird fact collections, and quirky books of all sorts.  A couple of years ago I had a student who read avidly only the Horrible Histories books. And this year the compendium book Show Off is captivating them.  Yesterday one of my 4th grade boys took it home for the weekend. For two 6th grade girls’ take go here and here.

0763645990.med

6 Comments

Filed under In the Classroom, Nonfiction