Peace Corps Day 98: 5,000 Volunteers 'Go Back to School' on March 3
February 25, 1998Peace Corps Day Ô98: 5,000 Volunteers 'Go Back to School' on March 3
Interest in the Peace Corps is Up, Need Still Strong, Agency Seeks to Expand
Washington, D.C., February 25, 1998—Commemorating the 37th anniversary of the Peace Corps, more than 5,000 current and returned Peace Corps volunteers will take part in a global education initiative and "go back to school" on Tuesday, March 3 to speak about their overseas experience as part of Peace Corps Day '98.
"Peace Corps volunteers' commitment to service continues well after volunteers return home, as evidenced by the more than 5,000 volunteers reaching out to students in all 50 states today," said Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan. He explained that when volunteers complete their overseas service, they continue to serve—more than most Americans on average—yielding a "domestic dividend" to Peace Corps service.
In addition to the returned volunteers speaking in classrooms, other highlights of Peace Corps Day activities on March 3 include:
C.D. Glin, a Peace Corps volunteer from Washington, D.C. currently serving in South Africa, will talk with 30 students from Washington through a special satellite link;
Daniel Fergus Tamulonis, a Peace Corps volunteer in the Congo (former Zaire) from 1975-79, will be reunited with one of his Congolese students after not seeing him for 17 years. The student, Bamwesa Mbumina, now teaches French at North Carolina A&T University and will travel to New York City to give a presentation with Tamulonis at George Washington High School in Manhattan;
Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala will visit the Garnet-Patterson Middle School in Washington, D.C. to talk with about 20 eighth-graders about her experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran. Shalala will offer colorful anecdotes and teach the students a few words in Farsi;
More than 30 currently-serving volunteers will talk via phone hook-ups with classrooms of students;
There will be a CU-SeeMe Internet Video Conference between Panama Peace Corps volunteers and students at Balboa High School, an American school in the former Canal Zone, and students involved with World Wise Schools in the U.S.; and
To date, three states and 10 cities have, by proclamation, declared March 3 "Peace Corps Day."
Because interest in the Peace Corps remains so strong at home—more than 150,000 individuals contacted the agency in 1997 to learn about volunteer opportunities—and the need overseas so great, President Clinton has proposed expanding the Peace Corps, putting the agency on the path to 10,000 volunteers serving overseas by the year 2000. The proposal is the largest funding increase requested for the Peace Corps since the 1960s.