Feb. 23 Begins National Peace Corps Week – UNC Asheville Announces New Program to Bring Retired Peace Corps Volunteers into Local Classrooms

In honor of national Peace Corps week, Feb. 23-March 1, UNC Asheville announces “Global Presenters,” a new program that will bring people with a wealth of international experience and service into area classrooms.

The “Global Presenters” are returned Peace Corps volunteers who have served in many nations in Africa, Asia, Oceania and Southern Europe, and are ready to share in the classroom, stories and lessons learned from living and working in other cultures. Global Presenters is a project of UNC Asheville’s Center for Diversity Education and the WNC Retired Peace Corps Volunteers.

Peace Corps Week celebrates the anniversary of President Kennedy’s establishment of the program on March 1, 1961. With the Peace Corps now 54 years old, there are more than 215,000 current and returned Peace Corps volunteers nationally. According to the Peace Corps Week “Classroom Challenge” website, North Carolina ranks second among U.S. states in the number of classroom presentations made by RPCVs, and this new program will add to this effort to foster inter-cultural understanding.

“The Global Presenters program is an exciting opportunity for teachers to bring the world into their classroom in a very personal way,” said Carrie Wagner, a global presenter and author of Village Wisdom, a personal story that highlights her time spent serving in Uganda.

The presenters are trained to apply effective and age-appropriate presentation skills to engage and inspire students. Through class lessons, talks and participation in international fairs, the global presenters will make connections between local and global citizenship and give students the opportunity to engage in cultural exploration and thought-provoking dialogue. Teachers can learn more about each presenter and contact them directly at http://www.diversityed.org/k12programs/global-presenters-2/. There is no charge for these presentations.

The new Global Presenters program joins the ongoing UNC Asheville Global Ambassadors program as a way of connecting area schools and community groups with the wider world. Global Ambassadors – UNC Asheville students who are current international exchange students or have returned from study-abroad trips – have led sessions for some 4,300 K-12 students and community members in Buncombe and six surrounding counties since 2009. This program is offered as a free community service by UNC Asheville’s Study Abroad office and the Center for Diversity Education with more information at http://studyabroad.unca.edu/gap.

For more information about Global Presenters, call Deborah Miles at the Center for Diversity Education at 828.232.5024. For more information about Global Ambassadors, call Cara Gilpin at UNC Asheville’s Study Abroad office at 828.258.7725.