Changing the world sometimes seems like too big a job to handle on your own, but there are many different ways to help out. From building schools in Pakistan to collecting pennies in a jar, Greg Mortenson has inspired the hearts and minds of people of all ages from all over the world. It doesn't matter if you have all the money in the world, there is always something you can do to assist Mortenson's efforts of promoting education in countries including Pakistan and Afghanistan who lack the educational means we, in the United States, tend to take for granted. These are just a few examples of how you can make a difference in the world.
LIBRARY/TOWN READS ...to educate a city or a town and show the importance of community
1. Cambridge READS is a city-wide book club sponsored by the Cambridge Public library. They intend to bring together their community in literature and discussion about issues going on in our world today such as education and immigration. After a book is chosen, facilitated book discussions are held as well as a visit from the author. In 2007, they chose Three Cups of Tea for the Cambridge READS program and Mortenson came to Harvard University to speak to a crowd of almost fourteen hundred people!
2. One Book One Belmont also sponsored a neighborhood reading of Greg Mortenson's inspiring memoir. The Belmont Public library along with many other organizations such as Belmont Against Racism and Belmont Public Schools helped out in leading discussions and raising money for different programs (speakers, performers, artists, etc). Belmont received much attention from their all city read and even had Mortenson's lecture listed on the Three Cups of Tea Website.
3. One Book Chelmsford chose Three Cups of Tea as their third book in their community reading. It hadn't reached six in the morning before people began to line up outside Chelmsford High School Performing Arts Center on the day Mortenson was scheduled to lecture.
PENNIES FOR PEACE ...to prove that anyone can make a difference
4. Boston Latin Pennies for Peace was started by the Boston Latin Fashion Modeling Life club, who not only focus on the fashion world, but also on important world issues. They made numerous signs and hung them up all over the school, hoping to catch interest from Boston Latin students.
5. Millbury Sutton Pennies for Peace was sponsored by the First Congregational Church, the children involved with this church raised seven hundred twenty eight dollars and fifty two cents at a yard sale. This amount of money is able to pay for a single teacher for one class room (with around thirty to forty students) for six years.
6. Markham Elementary School Pennies for Peace was initiated by one of the parents, Mark Bennett. The students at Markham Elementary School spent two months collecting pennies for their school-wide Pennies for Peace fund. Not only did it gain much support, but they also managed to raise eight hundred sixty seven dollars--that's eighty six thousand seven hundred pennies! Although quite a poverty-stricken school, even students with not much money were able to lend a hand (or a penny!) in this school-wide effort.
7. Build a School, Change the World is a campaign that was instigated in November of 2003 in Wood River Valley, Idaho. Their mission was to get a school built in Pakistan's Karakoram Range--in Chonghogrong, a small mountain village that was damaged by mudslides. Much of the village fled, and there was no school for the children. The citizens of Wood River Valley eventually achieved their set goal of twenty five thousand dollars, enough money to build the school and infrastructure, and to supply it. They made a slideshow to present to Julia Bergman, board chair of the Central Asia Institute. The school will be called the Kanday Lower Community School, with fifty-four students--of which thirty are girls. The Wood River Valley shows us that even with a seven thousand mile distance, you can truly make a difference wherever you are.