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July 9, 2008 > Pennies for Peace

Pennies for Peace

By Mona Shah

The Pennies for Peace Program (P4P) educates American children about the world beyond their experience and how they can make a positive impact on a global scale, one penny at a time. It teaches children the rewards of sharing and working together to bring hope and education opportunities to the children in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A penny in the United States is virtually worthless, but overseas a penny buys a pencil and opens the door to literacy.

The best hope for a peaceful and prosperous world lies in the education of all the world's children. Through cross-cultural understanding and a solution-oriented approach, P4P encourages American children, ultimately our future leaders, to be active participants in the creation of global peace. As part of this program, children are asked to donate their pennies to open the door to education for girls in places where a penny will buy a pencil, and where girls to date have been unable to receive any education at all.

Dozens of schools throughout the U.S. have been part of this program and it's coming to the Fremont Unified School District as well as Newark and Union City schools in the fall. "The Pennies for Peace project provides our children with the opportunity to learn and appreciate other cultures. At the same time, it shows them that their efforts can make a difference, one penny at a time," explained JoAnn Houk, in charge of the program for AAUW and a member of the Fremont, Union City and Newark Division of the California Retired Teachers Association.

For questions about the program, contact Genevieve Angelides at or go to

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