President Pledges Support for Expansion of Peace Corps' World Wise Schools Program

August 15, 1997

Washington, D.C. August 15, 1997—In announcing his Millennium Program, President Clinton today pledged to support the tripling of Peace Corps' World Wise Schools program by the year 2000. "I'm pleased that the Peace Corps will build on its legacy of service by setting a goal of tripling the size of its global learning partnership, World Wise Schools, by the new millennium," the President said. "This program connects Peace Corps volunteers with teachers and students right here in America to promote international and inter-cultural understanding." World Wise Schools is the Peace Corps' ongoing global education program, which broadens the geographic and cultural horizons of U.S. students through the overseas experience of currently-serving and returned Peace Corps volunteers. Today, there are 3,500 teachers in the United States who participate in the program, and the Peace Corps hopes to triple that to 10,000 teachers by the year 2000. More than 300,000 U.S. students have participated in the program since its inception in 1989. Through correspondence with current Peace Corps volunteers, classroom visits by returned volunteers, award-winning videos, study guides, and other educational materials, the World Wise Schools program teaches students about the people and cultures of other countries. It also exposes young Americans to positive role models who have engaged in public service as Peace Corps volunteers. President Clinton made his remarks this morning at the National Archives, where he announced the Millennium Program, a multi-year initiative to mark the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the new millennium. "This gives us a remarkable opportunity to honor the past and imagine the future," the President said. Among other things, the Millennium Program will include a Presidential lecture series, "Millennium Minutes"—televised highlights from American history, as well as free concerts at the Kennedy Center and a public-private project to identify and preserve oral histories and family pictures.

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