Altrusa and Library kick off Pennies for Peace drive
On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, about 50 people attended a special Pennies for Peace event at Montrose Library co-sponsored by the Library District and Altrusa of Montrose. Jana Ackerman, Outreach Coordinator for Children's Services at the Library, read the story Listen to the Wind to the children in attendance. Listen to the Wind is the best-selling story of Greg Mortenson ("Dr. Greg") arriving in the mountain village of Khorphe in northern Pakistan and promising to build a school there. The story is told from the point of view of the children of Khorphe, who previously had attended "school" outdoors, scratching their lessons in the dirt.
The children and adults who attended the program were also treated to a short video describing how the Pennies for Peace program began over 16 years ago. His non-profit organization, Central Asia Institute (CAI), has built or provided support for 131 schools, paid salaries for over 1,200 teachers, and 58,000 students (including 40,000 girls) have been educated as a result of their work. The organization has also worked with various educational and vocational programs for women in the region, and has provided health care services and projects.
Many individual classrooms as well as entire elementary schools in Montrose plan to collect pennies to donate to CAI. Altrusa members have placed Pennies for Peace collection jars in a number of area businesses so that community members can also contribute. This Montrose Pennies for Peace drive will conclude on Wednesday, December 16 when Alpine Bank East (on East Main) will count the pennies collected and a donation will be made to Pennies for Peace (Central Asia Institute) to help build additional schools, provide school supplies to children, provide scholarships to advanced students, train teachers, and more.
Teachers, families, businesses, and individuals who wish to have their collections counted and included in the donation to Pennies for Peace on December 16 may contact Diane Winger through Altrusa's email address -- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, please contact Altrusa if you would like someone to come to your business or club to give a presentation about Pennies for Peace and/or read Listen to the Wind to a children's group.
Greg Mortenson is also the author of best-selling book Three Cups of Tea - One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time. Altrusa of Montrose has donated copies of Mortenson's book to the Montrose Library and to all Montrose schools.