Peace Corps Director to visit multicultural school in Fairfax County, Virginia
October 13, 1998Washington, D.C., October 13, 1998—Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan will visit a multicultural, magnet school in Fairfax County Wednesday, October 14 to videotape a program about the Peace Corps experience to be aired on a student-produced television news show.
During the 45-minute segment, Gearan will present two educators at Bailey's Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences with letters officially designating their classrooms as participants in the agency's World Wise School's program . A unique global education program, World Wise Schools matches American classrooms with a currently serving Peace Corps Volunteer.
Through correspondence with volunteers and award-winning videos, teacher guides, a World Wide Web site, and visits from returned Peace Corps volunteers, students get a first-hand view of life in one of the 80 countries in which volunteers serve. Nearly 5,000 educators and their students across the country currently participate in World Wise Schools.
Bailey's Elementary School, at 6111 Knollwood Drive, Falls Church, is one of the most culturally, linguistically and economically diverse elementary school in Fairfax County, with approximately 900 students from 45 countries speaking 28 different languages. Many of the families come from countries served by the Peace Corps.
The school has state-of-art technology, and houses a television studio, music technology lab and performing arts theater. Through an optional language immersion program, many of the native English-speaking students learn math and science in Spanish three hours a day.
Three teachers at the school, who are returned Peace Corps volunteers, will join Gearan on the video to talk about their experience abroad.
Gearan is visiting the school as part of the U.S. Department of Education's "America Goes Back to School" initiative. Now in its fourth year, the program seeks to draw attention to the critical need for parents and communities to support their schools. "America Goes Back to School" is an initiative of the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education, a coalition of more than 4,000 business, community, religious and education organizations.
Currently, more than 6,500 Peace Corps volunteers are working in 80 countries around the world to bring clean water to communities, teach children, protect the environment, help start new small businesses, and prevent the spread of AIDS. Since 1961, more than 150,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.