Paul Zinni, Superintendent
18 King Street
Norfolk, MA 02056
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019
Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
King Philip Students Donate to Peace Corps Project
NORFOLK– Superintendent Paul Zinni is pleased to announce that eighth grade students at King Philip Middle School have donated nearly $1,000 to support a Peace Corps project this month.
Approximately 400 eighth grade students at the school donated their own money to a Peace Corps Partnership middle school latrine project in the West African nation of Mali. Donations were raised in one week this month before students went on February break. A total of $961 was raised by the middle schoolers.
The fundraiser was inspired by lessons on global poverty covered in their language classes. After watching the documentary “Living on One” that follows four American college students as they attempt to replicate the poverty of living on $1 per day in Guatemala, they felt a desire to help.
“Many students were moved by the lack of basic sanitation and educational opportunities presented in the video and they felt moved to help others,” said Spanish and Cultural Studies teacher Katie Brenneis.
Since 2005, Brenneis, Spanish teacher Howard Bean, and Spanish and French teacher Mimi Laetitia Lussiez de Narvaez, have annually chosen a Peace Corps Partnership project based on student interest to support.
The three teachers each served in the Peace Corps in Latin American countries in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
This year, students donated more than any class prior. One student was so moved by her studies, she donated $200.
“It’s great to see students coming together to support a project, and using their studies to identify real, global problems,” Superintendent Zinni said. “The language and culture teachers at King Philip Middle School have done an excellent job opening students’ eyes to global poverty, and showing them how they can help make a concrete, positive impact.”
When choosing a project to support, students wanted to select a project that would help improve water and sanitation conditions. The latrine project was tied to a regional middle school in a French speaking country, which offered French students a connection to their language of study. The project also allowed students to support and follow a project to benefit students their age.
“This is strictly a labor of love for us as teachers and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV),” Brenneis said. “We do it because we feel it makes the world a smaller place and helps our students feel that even a small contribution can make a huge difference.”
The teachers believe the project aligns with two components of the Peace Corps mission: to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the people the Peace Corps serve and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
Each year, the school hears back from the Peace Corps volunteers working on the project students donate to, and classes in the past have connected over email, Skype, YouTube, and other platforms with Peace Corps volunteers to watch the project progress over the course of the school year.