Students at the Child and Career Development Center had the opportunity to learn about life halfway around the world Monday.As part of Peace Corps Week, students in Laura McGinley's class won the opportunity to have an hour-long phone call with Samantha Adams, a member of the Peace Corps currently serving in Swaziland, Africa. Adams shared some of her experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

"We were matched with the Peace Corps to do an educational experience with her being on assignment in Africa," said McGinley.

McGinley's class had been corresponding with Adams class through letters for the last year. McGinley's said in order for her class to have the opportunity to speak with Adams, she had to write a letter to the Peace Corps explaining why her class would benefit from the experience.

Prior to the call, each student came up with a list of questions they wanted to ask Adams and her class. McGinley took those questions and came up with a master list to ask during the call.

"Each student came up with a list of questions. If students wanted to speak during the call, they could, but they didn't have to," said McGinley.

McGinley's students say they have been enjoying the experience learning about the Swaziland culture.

"We learned how they live and their lifestyle," said student Damian Connor. "We learned how they survive. They want to know a lot about America."

"We learned that they really want to learn and speak English," said student Chris Sheppard.

Sheppard and Connor also said the Swaziland students enjoyed getting the letters from America.

Also during the call, the students learned from Adams how different the lifestyle in Africa is compared to the United States. Currently Swaziland is suffering a drought and they have no running water.

"They could really use drinking water," said McGinley.

The students also asked about being a Peace Corps volunteer, about the medical center and how patients are treated in Africa.

"Our letters give the kids hope," said Sheppard and Connor.

The Child and Career Development Center was one of 42 schools in 24 states who had the opportunity to speak to Peace Corps volunteers serving in 29 countries during Peace Corps Week.

Peace Corps Week commemorates the March 1, 1961, signing of the Executive Order by President John F. Kennedy that established the Peace Corps. The week of events raises awareness of the Peace Corps as a resource for educators and individuals in the U.S. who want to use cross-cultural stories in the classroom and make contributions to Peace Corps projects overseas.

According to Molly Jennings, Public Affairs Specialist for the Peace Corps, the service of Peace Corps Volunteers is truly immeasurable as they dedicate two years to gaining a better understanding of other cultures around the world. As such, current Volunteers are enthusiastic about sharing some of their unique experiences with Americans back home. Their exceptional Volunteer service demonstrates the heart of the Peace Corps-the best of America-and it has motivated 190,000 Americans to answer President John F. Kennedy's call in 1961 to serve our country and the world.

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