U.S. Peace Corps World Wide Schools Program

In 2016-2017, French students at Harmon Middle School will be working with PCV Jake Myers who is assigned to Benin, in West Africa. They will be corresponding with his students and helping him work on digitally mapping the demographics of his community to support a number of different projects. If this partnership expands, Social Studies students will be invited to join in.

FYI, here is a copy of the introductory email that we received from Mr. Myers

Hello Paul,
I came across your request in the Peace Corps' World Wise School Program and I would love to collaborate with you and your students.

I am an environmental Peace Corps volunteer serving in the northern half of Benin (will complete my service in September 2017). My primary projects concern food security, malaria prevention, and girl's empowerment among a few others. I have started to use mapping as a way to better plan my projects, and to also use it as a powerful educational tool. If you want to learn more about the type of work I am involved in, you can check out my blog (though I largely use my blog as a way to show others what life in Benin is like). http://jakemeyerspeacecorpsbenin.blogspot.com/
I have recently created a basic map of my village using Open Street Maps. This upcoming school year I was planning on having a club of students help me map our community. I would love to involve students from the states, who can map different objects online, which then can be confirmed by students from Benin on the ground. You and I could then both facilitate a discussion on cross cultural exchange and include topics of language, geography, and culture among others. I have been playing around with the idea of story telling with maps, and you can check out a sample of what this type of discussion could look like: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=3fc9bb4d086748239b334630bfbb7d42

I have many other ideas and uses for mapping, and I think including middle school students in the process is a fantastic idea. Let me know if you would like to collaborate and we can further discuss ideas. I have pretty regular access to internet so communication should not be a problem.
Best, Jake Meyers

For the 2105-2016 School Year we were been "Matched" with Peace Corps Volunteer Amanda Antono who was serving in the Community Health field in the Kyrgyz Republic. Here is the introductory message that she sent in March 2015... too late for the 2014-15 class to work with her.

Due to political instability in Kyrgyzstan, Amanda was brought home by the Peace Corps in the Spring of 2016 and is now pursuing her medical education at the University of North Carolina. Before leaving she did complete her women's fitness room project which was enhanced with contributions from Harmon Students that included personal fitness profiles along with a number of sets of Fit Deck exercise and yoga cards.

Dear Mr. Frankmann,

I wanted to introduce myself to you. My name is Amanda Antono and I am a Peace Corps Health Education Volunteer in the Kyrgyz Republic. We've been matched for the World Wise Schools Program. I've been in country for almost 11 months now. I work in the lowest grassroots level of the Kyrgyz health system called the village health committee(VHC). Members the VHC disseminate health information to the rest of the village. We are currently working on a grant to open a fitness room at our local school.

Here is a link to Amanda's fundraising site in support of her fitness room project: (THIS PROJECT HAS ALREADY BEEN FULLY FUNDED)


Here is a link to a long message she sent updating us on her station and recent events along with answers- detailed answers to many of your questions.

PCV Amanda Antono Update and Answers to your Questions, 9 September 2015

A little bit about myself...I am a North Carolina State University Alum where I studied Human Biology and Applied Nutrition. I'm originally from the Bay Area, California, by way of Indonesia and New York. Some of my hobbies include cooking and traveling.

Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you. Let me know if you have any ideas as to how you would like to structure our communication for your students. If you would like to know more about what I have done thus far during my service, I occasionally blog at www.wanderingmanda.WordPress.com

Her blog is a great introduction to Ms Antono,her Peace Corps experience, her projects, and the Kyrgyz Republic and people. Scroll down to the end, and read from bottom to top to begin following her. I will relay your questions, and hopefully, we'll be able to help her in her projects.

Kyrgyzstan- CIA World Factbook Profile

Here are some additional Peace Corps resources if you are interested in learning more.

U.S. Peace Corps

What do Volunteers Do?

Where do Volunteers Go?

What's it Like to Volunteer?

Peace Corps World Wise Schools Program (Including Do You Have What it Takes to be a Volunteer Challenge Quiz)

John F Kennedy Library- Peace Corps (50 Year Anniversary Feature)

Life is Wonderful- Video about a Peace Corps Project in the Kyrgyz Republic

John F. Kennedy Peace Corps Promotion

Newsreel Introduction of the Peace Corps 1961

Oval Office Announcement