Media Advisory: Award Ceremony on Capitol Hill March 1

Washington, D.C., February 26, 2001—On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps, this week the agency will host a ceremony on Capitol Hill to honor the recipients of the first annual Paul D. Coverdell Award for Excellence. Seven educators from across the United States will be recognized for their dedicated participation in Water in Africa, a recent project of the Peace Corps\' World Wise Schools global education program, which was founded in 1989 by the late Senator Coverdell, then-director of the Peace Corps.
WHO: * Acting Peace Corps Director Charles R. Baquet III, former Peace Corps volunteer, Somalia 1965-67 * Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, former Peace Corps director, 1991-92 * Senator Christopher Dodd, former Peace Corps volunteer, Dominican Republic 1966-68 * Congressman Christopher Shays, former Peace Corps volunteer, Fiji, 1968-70 * Congressman Sam Farr, former Peace Corps volunteer, Columbia 1964-66 * Congressman Tony Hall, former Peace Corps volunteer, Thailand 1966-67 * Congressman Mike Honda, former Peace Corps volunteer, El Salvador, 1965-67 * Congressman Thomas Petri, former Peace Corps volunteer, Somalia, 1966-67 * Congressman James Walsh, former Peace Corps volunteer, Nepal, 1970-72 * R. Sargent Shriver, Peace Corps\' founding director, 1961-1966
WHAT: Paul D. Coverdell Award for Excellence Ceremony; Peace Corps\' 40th Anniversary Event
WHEN: Thursday, March 1, 2001 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106 First Street and Constitution Avenue, N.E. Washington, D.C.
Note: Award recipients will be available for media interviews at 2:00 p.m. on March 1. Please call Susan Buchanan at (202) 692-2214 to arrange an interview appointment.
Currently, 7,300 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in 76 countries, working to teach children, help improve health and nutrition of families, bring clean water to communities, help start new small businesses, and prevent the spread of AIDS.
Recipients of the first-annual Paul D. Coverdell Award in Excellence
1. Michelle Abernathy-Tabor of Lynden, Washington—6th grade educator 2. Amy Jane Cohen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—middle school educator 3. Robert L.Maher of Athens, Ohio—4th grade educator 4. David McKoski of Chicago, Illinois—high school educator 5. Kristi Rennbohm Franz of Pullman, Washington—1st grade educator 6. Dany M. Ray of Cairo, Georgia—gifted education, middle school educator 7. Carly Garrett of San Diego, California—English as a second language, high school educator
About the Water in Africa Project
The Water in Africa Web project was made possible by a $50,000 grant from the Department of Education\'s Innovation Technology Fund. Set up specifically for federal agencies and federal organizations, the goal of the fund is to develop Internet-based learning modules and communities.
The fund began in 1997, when President Clinton challenged federal agencies to determine what "resources you can make available that would enrich the Internet as a tool for teaching and learning." In response, more than 30 federal agencies formed a working group to make hundreds of federally supported education resources available online.
The Peace Corps\' Water in Africa project is part of this effort. It chronicles in words and photos Peace Corps volunteers\' experience with the use of water—from daily use to its importance in the cultural and religious celebrations to methods of transportation and recreation activities—in 24 African countries. The seven recipients of the Coverdell Award for Excellence used 600 photos and 300 anecdotes to create online learning units for U.S. educators to use in American classrooms. The site encourages educators to teach geography, language arts, technology, and visual arts using authentic materials cfrica online at

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