Hearthstone students join Pennies for Peace campaign

Hearthstone students (from left) Leif Kvarnes, Noah Waller, Trusten Murrah, Liam Bauchspies and Jasper Gros take a break from the pursuit of pennies with teacher Liz Shaw, right.

From contributed reports
The students at Hearthstone School in Sperryville are embarking on a Pennies for Peace campaign to broaden their cultural horizons and become members of a global family dedicated to peace.

How can a penny bring peace? It doesn’t buy much in Rappahannock County. But in the villages of Pakistan and Afghanistan, it can buy a pencil, start an education, and transform a life. In a region where terrorist organizations recruit uneducated, illiterate children, that pencil can empower a child to read, write, and learn. The Pennies for Peace program’s goal is to encourage children, who are ultimately our future leaders, to learn the value of philanthropy by collecting pennies for global peace.

Hearthstone students will have an opportunity to study the cultures of Afghanistan and Pakistan, learn to work and share together in their Pennies for Peace campaign, and come to understand their own capacity as philanthropists — one penny at a time.

Many schools, hospitals, homes and crops have been affected by the massive rains and flooding in Pakistan. According to the State Department, 20 million people have been directly affected, 61,776 square miles have flooded,. more than 1.2 million homes have been damaged or destroyed and 13,900 square miles of cropland have been damaged or destroyed. The BBC reported that 10,000 Pakistan schools have been destroyed by the floods and 9 million children have been affected.

Hearthstone students hope that the pennies they collect will help fund the rebuilding of schools in Pakistan.

After reading “Three Cups of Tea” (the Young Reader’s Edition), the students in middle school teacher Liz Shaw’s class decided that they wanted to be a part of author-activist Greg Mortenson’s efforts to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“World peace is attainable, but we are doing it all wrong. Fighting violence with violence is not getting us closer to a peaceful world, but education is; to attain world peace we must fight ignorance and hate with education,” said Shaw.

Hearthstone will place jars to collect pennies at the Corner Store in Sperryville, Oldway Art Center, the Rainbow Market in the Rappahannock Wellness Center (on Hearthstone’s campus) and in Hearthstone School’s main office. The school will be collecting pennies through Dec. 17.

The pennies that Hearthstone students collect can add up to make a real difference.

1 penny = a pencil
2-3 pennies = an eraser
15 pennies = one notebook
$20 = one child’s school supplies for a year
$50 = one treadle sewing machine and supplies
$100 = maternal healthcare supplies for a year
$300 = one advanced student’s annual scholarship
$600 = one teacher’s annual salary
$5,000 = support for existing school for one year
$50,000 = one school building and support for up to five years

Children in more than 400 mountain villages in remote northern Pakistan and Afghanistan are on the waiting list, hoping to learn in a new school. Hearthstone students hope to help build a bridge of peace, one penny at a time, offering alternatives to the cycle of terrorism and war.

About Pennies for Peace

The Pennies for Peace campaign is a program of Central Asia Institute (CAI), founded by Greg Mortenson, author of the #1 New York Times best seller, “Three Cups of Tea.” CAI is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that promotes and provides community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Central Asia. Founded in 1996, CAI has built, to date, nearly 100 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which serve more than 28,000 students, 14,000 of whom are girls. Greg’s story and more information about CAI can be found on the web at www.ikat.org.

To find out more about Hearthstone’s Pennies for Peace campaign, contact Elizabeth Shaw at lizbeth.shaw@gmail.com or call Hearthstone at 540-987-9212.

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