Peace Corps' World Wise Schools Launches Agency's First Ever Podcasts

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 2006 The Coverdell World Wise Schools program at the Peace Corps has just launched the agency\'s first podcast series, called Volunteer Voices, featuring stories written and read by Peace Corps Volunteers.

Users can hear the podcasts on the World Wise Schools\' Volunteer Voices page and can subscribe to new ones as they become available through a variety of music software, including iTunes, MyYahoo, Odeo, Juice, and others. A new Volunteer Voices podcast is scheduled every week. Stories already available include tales from Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Bulgaria, Guatemala, Mali, Nepal, and Papua New Guinea. Podcasts are audio (and sometimes visual) multimedia files distributed over the Internet for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.

The World Wise Schools program has also unveiled their redesigned Web site at Educators and currently serving Peace Corps Volunteers can now access information about the Correspondence Match program, which connects U.S. classrooms with Peace Corps Volunteers overseas. Teachers can search through a lesson plan database by grade level, region, and subject area to find activities that best fit the needs of their classrooms. And former Volunteers, as well as teachers, can use the site to find schools and organizations that are seeking Peace Corps Volunteer speakers to share their overseas experiences.

To complement the new Web site, the World Wise Schools program redesigned its monthly e-newsletter for educators, now titled "World Wise Window." The first issue features a series of stories, lesson plans, and slide shows on disaster relief on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and acknowledged the 10th anniversary of the Crisis Corps, which sends former Peace Corps Volunteers to areas of the world in need of emergency aid on a short-term basis.

Coverdell World Wise Schools, named for former Peace Corps Director and late Senator Paul D. Coverdell, creates award-winning classroom readings, lessons, and cross-cultural activities. The standards-based materials are free.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 45-year legacy of service and is enjoying a 30-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 182,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 138 countries where Volunteers have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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