Peace Corps Celebrates 40 Years of Service on March 1; Award Ceremony Honoring Seven U.S. Educators and the Late Georgia Senator, Paul D. Coverdell, to Take Place on Capitol Hill Thursday, March 1

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 26, 2001—The Peace Corps will commemorate its 40th anniversary on Thursday, March 1, with a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to present the first annual Coverdell Award for Excellence to seven American professional educators.

"Senator Coverdell was a tireless champion of education during his tenure as director of the Peace Corps," acting Director Charles R. Baquet III said. "It is fitting that we recognize outstanding American educators with an award named in his honor."

The seven educators are being recognized for their innovative contribution to Water in Africa, a recent Web-based project of the Peace Corps\' World Wise Schools global education program. World Wise Schools, a program that helps U.S. educators bring a global perspective into the classroom, was founded in 1989 by the late Senator Coverdell, then-director of the Peace Corps.

The Water in Africa project satisfies the Peace Corps\' third goal of helping American citizens better understand their world. This project packages the Peace Corps experience in Africa to help American students understand the essential nature of water in African communities. Water in Africa chronicles Peace Corps volunteers\' experiences 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 award recipients used 600 photos and 300 anecdotes to create online lesson plans and teaching resources 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 collected by over 90 Peace Corps volunteers.

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.

Note: For a list of the seven award recipients, please visit The recipients will be available for media interviews on March 1 at 2:00 p.m., at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 106. Please call Susan Buchanan at (202) 692-2214 to arrange an interview appointment.

Visit Water in Africa online at

Media Advisory: March 1 Coverdell Award Ceremony

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