Student letters: Manatee eighth-graders make case for Pennies for Peace

Editor’s note: Students at Manatee Middle School in East Naples are raising money for Pennies for Peace.

Eighth-grade language arts students of Lisa Garby and Ashley Dallacqua wrote letters to the editor on what Pennies for Peace is all about and what makes it important.

Here are excerpts:

* Pennies for Peace is an international program. It was founded by Greg Mortenson, co-founder and executive director of Central Asia Institute and co-author of the No. 1 New York Times best-seller, “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time.”

He went to climb the summit of K2 in Pakistan in honor of his younger sister. But because of another climber who happened to have gotten sick, the group turned around and he got lost in the mountains. When he found his way down he ran into a small, poor village, where they took him in. Seeing how poor the people were and how the children didn’t have an education or even a teacher in their village, Greg promised the people in the village to come back and build a school for the children. They sent him death threats, kidnapped him, and people even made fun of his idea. Even though it was hard for them, they achieved it.

So Manatee Middle School is helping the program Pennies for Peace by raising pennies.

* * *

* Why do we take school for granted when children in Pakistan don’t have the chance to even go to school? Children in America don’t pay a dime to attend school while children in Pakistan can’t even afford to pay for education that’s only a dollar a day.

That is the reason why my school, Manatee Middle School, has jumped aboard the campaign Pennies for Peace.

If us locals from Naples, Florida, raise $5,000, that would be a blessing. That is the price to run a school for a year in Pakistan.

You don’t have to donate a lot; just a little will help.

* * *

* Just think. With one penny a student there can buy a pencil. Now imagine what they can do with $2 or with $5,000.

A penny goes a long way, all the way to Pakistan and Afghanistan through Pennies for Peace.

We know what it’s like to have everything at our fingertips, to have almost anything we want. But they do not.

Their houses? Mud walls.

Education: the one thing holding these students back from a bright future.

* * *

* Without teachers, the students (in Pakistan and Afghanistan) wouldn’t be able to learn and be successful in life.

Please join our campaign.

You can help these students by donating a simple penny. A penny heals a broken heart.

For more information about Pennies for Peace, contact teacher Lisa Garby at 377-3674 or e-mail

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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