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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for Correspondence Match

For Peace Corps Volunteers

May I visit my educator's classroom before, during, or after my service?
If you already know your educator match and have an opportunity to visit his or her group of students before you leave for service, World Wise Schools encourages you to set up a time to visit. This is a wonderful way to connect with the students and get your correspondence off to a winning start. If you visit the United States at any point during your service, this is also a great opportunity to visit your educator's class and meet the students in person. You can also use this time to show photographs, clothing, and other artifacts from your country of service. We strongly encourage returned Peace Corps Volunteers to visit their educator's classroom as well as other classrooms through the Speakers Match program. This is an excellent opportunity to share your experiences and fulfill the Peace Corps' mission.
Are Volunteers reimbursed for postage costs? Are educators?
Volunteers are reimbursed for the cost of one letter per month per educator with whom they are enrolled in the Correspondence Match program. Keep in mind that you will not begin to receive monthly reimbursements until after you are sworn in as a Volunteer. Educators are not reimbursed for any postage costs.
How often should I correspond with my educator? Is the Correspondence Match program a large commitment of my time?
World Wise Schools recommends that the Volunteer and the educator exchange at least one letter or e-mail each month. We find it is best to set aside the same day each month for writing your letter. This way you and the teacher are ensured a lasting and productive correspondence. If you have not heard from your educator for a while, do not wait for a letter before writing again. This sort of "question and response" exchange can be difficult to sustain due to postal delays, and it can lead to several months of silence while both of you wait for a letter. We also suggest that you number your letters so that you and the educator can more easily keep track of the letters that have been sent and received.
Can I incorporate my World Wise Schools correspondence into my primary and secondary projects?
Yes, many Volunteers incorporate their World Wise Schools correspondence into their primary projects. Likewise, the Correspondence Match program is a popular secondary project for Volunteers. The Peace Corps Partnership Program, administered from Peace Corps headquarters, provides an easy opportunity for World Wise Schools educators and students to participate in your Volunteer work by combining project sponsorship and cross-cultural exchange. If you or your educator are interested, we encourage you to visit the Peace Corps Partnership Program website for more information.
What do I do if I haven't heard from my educator for many months?
If you have accounted for postal delays and still have not heard from your educator, contact your In-Country Contact at post and explain your situation. If you have e-mail access you may also contact World Wise Schools directly. Your ICC and World Wise Schools staff are ready to assist you with any problems that may arise. Please remember that World Wise Schools will not know that you are having communication difficulties with your educator unless we hear from you.
What happens if I am unable to continue correspondence with my educator?
If you end service early or are otherwise unable to continue your correspondence with your educator, please notify your In-Country Contact at post and/or contact World Wise Schools. Please state why you are unable to continue corresponding and any other relevant information we might need to know.
What happens to the match when I finish my Peace Corps service?
When you complete Peace Corps service, in addition to hearing from you, your educator match will be notified by World Wise Schools and offered an opportunity to re-enroll with another Peace Corps Volunteer. If you know of a Volunteer in your country of service who is waiting for a match and who would like to continue the correspondence with your educator match, please notify World Wise Schools, and we will be happy to arrange the new match. When you return to the United States, we encourage you to visit your educator's students and other classrooms as a Speakers Match participant.
Can I sign up for Correspondence Match as a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV)?
Correspondence Match is a connection between a currently serving Volunteer and an educator. If you are an educator and an RPCV, and you would like to exchange letters with a currently serving Volunteer please enroll as an educator.
What is the Correspondence Match program?
The Correspondence Match program facilitates correspondence between an educator, his or her students, and a currently serving Peace Corps Volunteer. Participants exchange letters, stories, artifacts, photos, e-mail messages, and even phone calls. Volunteers have enjoyed successful matches with traditional classrooms, youth groups, Scout troops, and many other types of student organizations.
Why should I participate as a Peace Corps Volunteer?
Through the Correspondence Match program, World Wise Schools offers Volunteers a meaningful way to fulfill the Peace Corps' third goal during service overseas to increase Americans' understanding of other peoples and cultures. As a Volunteer, you will receive reimbursements for the postage costs of one letter per month to each educator with whom you are corresponding. Your educator match will also receive all of World Wise Schools' new classroom resources, including information about how to get involved with your overseas projects through the Peace Corps Partnership Program.
How can I enroll in the Correspondence Match program?
Peace Corps Invitees, and Volunteers may apply through our enrollment page. If you are currently serving overseas, please get in touch with your In-Country Contact (ICC) for World Wise Schools. The ICC can give you a Correspondence Match enrollment form to complete and forward your enrollment information to World Wise Schools. If you are in the United States you can contact us via phone, letter, or e-mail. You may enroll in the Correspondence Match program at any time during your Peace Corps service.
Can I sign up with one or more educators I already know?
Sure! World Wise Schools encourages you to tell former teachers or other friends and family members who are teachers about the Correspondence Match program. The best time to arrange this type of match is before you leave for Peace Corps service. To set up your match, simply fill out your information on the Correspondence Match Volunteer sign-up page, specifying the name and school information for you educator match. If you do not have time to arrange the match before you start your service, you may contact the educator once you are overseas and send World Wise Schools the contact information for that person. If you would like to correspond with more than one educator you know, that's fine. Just submit an enrollment form for each of the educators. Consider your own time constraints as you consider how many matches you would like. If you know other educators but think you won't have the time to correspond with all of them, encourage them to enroll in the program, and we can match them with other Volunteers around the world.
If I already know my teacher's name and address, do I have to wait for official notification from World Wise Schools before I start writing?
No. You may begin corresponding right away. Keep in mind, however, that you will not begin to receive postage reimbursements until you are officially sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer at the end of pre-service training.
How long does it take to be matched to an educator once I enroll?
Depending upon the Volunteer's geographic requests and the number of educators interested in the Volunteer's region of service, Volunteers can expect to wait several months before being notified of their educator match. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you enroll with a former teacher, friend, or family member who is a teacher so that you can get started right away. If you do not know any educators with whom you would like to correspond and would like World Wise Schools to match you with an educator as quickly as possible, please specify that you have "no preference" geographically.
When will I receive my educator's contact information and Correspondence Match materials?
You will receive an e-mail and a letter from World Wise Schools with your educator's contact information, along with our Handbook for Educators and Volunteers, as soon as your match has been processed and you have arrived in your country of service. Sometimes overseas mailings can be delayed, so we appreciate your patience.
Do educators and Volunteers have to follow a set curriculum while corresponding?
No. Educators and Volunteers share the responsibility of shaping their exchange and choosing the content of their correspondence. The World Wise Schools Handbook for Educators and Volunteers serves as a guide for those participating in the correspondence match, offering suggestions for the correspondence. There is no required curriculum that teachers and Volunteers must follow, but World Wise Schools offers a wide array of resources that we encourage teachers and Volunteers to use.
Will my educator match receive information about my country of service?
No. The educator does not receive educational materials that describe the Volunteer's country of service. However, educators will receive the educational materials World Wise Schools produces while they are enrolled in the program, along with our Handbook for Educators and Volunteers.

For Educators

What do I do if I haven't heard from my Volunteer for many months?
A: If you have accounted for postal delays and still have not heard from your Volunteer, contact World Wise Schools so you can explain your situation to a staff member. You may do this via e-mail at wwsinfo@peacecorps.gov World Wise Schools staff are ready to assist you in any problems that may arise. Please remember, World Wise Schools will not know that you are having communication difficulties with your Volunteer unless we hear from you.
How long does it take to be matched to a Volunteer once I enroll?
This depends on the number of Volunteers waiting for an educator match at the time of the request. When the supply of Volunteers is low, educators can expect to spend more time waiting. Generally, educators can expect to wait from one to three months before being matched to a Volunteer. Often, however, educators' requests can be met more quickly.
What is the Coverdell World Wise Schools Correspondence Match program?
The Correspondence Match program facilitates correspondence between an educator, his or her students, and a currently serving Peace Corps Volunteer. Participants exchange letters, stories, artifacts, photos, e-mail messages, and even phone calls.
Who can participate?
Educators teaching at any type of school (public, private, home school), at any grade level (kindergarten, middle school, high school, college), in any setting (classroom, Scout group, after-school program) can participate in the Correspondence Match program.
Can I participate in other World Wise Schools options and be enrolled in the Correspondence Match program, too?
Yes. Please take advantage of all our educational materials and programs.
Is this a pen-pal program?
No. Letter writing is a key component of the correspondence match, but World Wise Schools is not a pen-pal exchange. The correspondence is between the U.S. educator and students, on the one hand, and the Peace Corps Volunteer. Usually the educator and students write collective letters to the Volunteer. If, however, a Volunteer teacher and an educator wish to make this a student-to-student pen-pal exchange, they are free to do so. But please keep in mind that no Volunteer or teacher is required to do so, and not all Volunteers work with school-age children.
Why should I enroll in the Correspondence Match program?
Your correspondence with a Peace Corps Volunteer can enhance your students' learning in almost any subject area. There are Peace Corps Volunteers in every region of the world working at the grass-roots level. Their stories, projects, and experiences can provide U.S. students with unusually candid firsthand perspectives of cultures worldwide, views not usually accessible through textbooks, films, and other familiar media.
How can I enroll in the World Wise Schools Correspondence Match program?
You can enroll in the Correspondence Match program online by filling out the request form. As you complete your form, consider your preferences for Volunteers. Is there a specific country, region, language, or type of work your students would be interested in?
If I signed up with a specific Volunteer, am I guaranteed a correspondence with that Volunteer?
Yes. This kind of match is called a special request match. If you know your Volunteer's name and address, you are free to start your correspondence at any time. However, to be officially enrolled in the program, please submit a completed enrollment form stating your Volunteer's name and country of service.
May I be matched to more than one Volunteer?
Yes. You many request as many Volunteer matches as you like. Some educators request matches from many different regions or program sectors. Be sure to consider your goals for the match and any time constraints as you decide how many Volunteer matches you would like.
How often do I correspond with the Volunteer?
World Wise Schools asks that the educator and Volunteer exchange a letter or e-mail each month. We find it is best to set aside the same day each month for writing your letter. This way you and the Volunteer are ensured a lasting and productive correspondence. If you have not heard from your Volunteer for a while, do not wait for a letter before writing again. This sort of "question and response" exchange can be difficult to sustain due to postal difficulties, and it can lead to several months of silence while both of you wait for a letter. We also suggest that you number your letters so that you and the Volunteer can more easily keep track of the letters that have been sent and received.
Do I get a new Volunteer at the beginning of every school year?
No. Generally your correspondence will last the duration of the Volunteer's Peace Corps service—roughly 2 years. However, occasionally other circumstances arise (e.g., the Volunteer finishes service early, or waited to enroll in the match program until the second year of service, or the Volunteer must be evacuated from the country) that will shorten the duration of the match. If this happens, please contact us and we will be happy to match you with another Volunteer.
What happens to the correspondence during our summer months when U.S. teachers are on break?
Though your school breaks for the summer months, the Volunteer continues to work and live in the host country. We ask that you remember your Volunteer by continuing to correspond with him or her over your summer months. You can use these months as a time to reflect on what worked and what didn't, and plan for the coming school year.
Do educators and Volunteers have to follow a set curriculum while corresponding?
No. Educators and Volunteers share the responsibility of shaping their exchange and choosing the content of their correspondence. The World Wise Schools Handbook for Educators and Volunteers serves as a guide for those participating in the correspondence match, offering suggestions for the correspondence. There is no required curriculum that teachers and Volunteers must follow, but WWS offers a wide array of resources that we encourage teachers and Volunteers to use.
Do I receive information on the Volunteer's country of service?
No. The educator does not receive educational materials that describe the Volunteer's country of service. Teachers will receive the educational materials World Wise Schools produces while they are enrolled in the program, along with the Handbook for Educators and Volunteers.
What happens if I am unable to continue corresponding with my Volunteer match?
If you change schools or addresses, retire, take a sabbatical, or are no longer the main educator corresponding with your Volunteer, please contact us immediately at wwsinfo@peacecorps.gov.
Does World Wise Schools assist educators in paying postage costs?
No. World Wise Schools does not assist educators with postage costs.
Can more than one educator from the same school enroll in the Correspondence Match program?
Yes, any interested educator can enroll in the Correspondence Match program. We encourage you to tell your colleagues about the program. Many Correspondence Match educators share their correspondence with other classrooms within their school.
What happens when my Volunteer finishes service?
World Wise Schools will send you a re-enrollment letter when your Volunteer completes his or her overseas service. You can use this opportunity to connect with a new Volunteer in the same country, or you can request a match from a different area. This is also a great time to invite your Volunteer to visit your students in person.
Can I help my Volunteer with his or her projects?
Yes. The Peace Corps Partnership Program, administered from Peace Corps headquarters, provides an easy opportunity for World Wise Schools educators and students to participate in Peace Corps' work by combining project sponsorship and cross-cultural exchange. If you are interested, we encourage you to visit the Peace Corps Partnership website for more information.