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SUBMITTED by Theresa Streb, Lyons Public Library (22-Jan-10)

Lyons Public Library Participating in International Pennies for Peace Campaign

The Lyons Public Library has joined hands with other libraries and schools around the world who share the vision and dedication to empower communities through education in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Patrons 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 Lyons. However, 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 goal is to encourage children, who are ultimately our future leaders, to learn the value of philanthropy by collecting pennies for global peace.

During the months of February and March, the Library will have two jars at the circulation desk for people to drop their spare pennies in. Please do not drop in other coins, we are only asking for pennies. This allows patrons, from children to adults, to participate in the campaign even if they don’t have much to give. The pennies will be exchanged at the local bank for a money order or cashier’s check and then sent to Pennies for Peace at the end of the campaign.

The pennies that Lyons Public Library patrons collect can add up to make a real difference. Here are some examples of what pennies can buy, especially when many people join together to give:

  • 1 penny = a pencil
  • 2-3 pennies = an eraser
  • 15 pennies = one notebook
  • $20 = one child’s school supplies for one year,
  • $50 = one treadle sewing machine and supplies
  • $100 = maternal healthcare supplies for one 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 over 400 mountain villages in remote northern Pakistan and Afghanistan are on the waiting list, hoping to learn in a new school.

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.

For more information, please call the Library at (315) 946-9262 or email us at lyonslibrary@owwl.org.


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