need ideas for my Peace Corps Club
October 12, 2017 10:19 AM   Subscribe

Our middle school has a period of community service learning this year in which teachers get to pick the area of study. My students are learning about and working with Peace Corps volunteers, but I'm kind of stuck on what to do next.

We have learned some basic information about the Peace Corps, established a penpal relationship with a volunteer and her students. Unfortunately, after sending the letters a few weeks ago I have not heard back. I assume it might take them awhile to read the letters and write responses. So we have learned about the country where our penpals live, created a display about the country and our club, and taken some pictures of the school to send to our penpals. Before that we did some cultural awareness activities and games. But I'm kind of at a loss for what to do next and I need some ideas.

I have about 10 students and we're in this club for another 7 weeks. Help!
posted by anonymous to Education (6 answers total)
What about doing some work on what the PCV (or Peace Corps in the country) is doing? For example, depending on the country, there might be HIV awareness, agricultural stuff, or programs focusing on women. You could do the same or similar learning. You could also expand your focus from just that country to other PC countries. Ooh, and what about language stuff? PCV go through a lot of language training. You could do cooking (or tasting) national/common dishes as well.

Depending on where you are (in most places, this is easy!), you may be able to get some retired Peace Corps volunteers (maybe even from the same country!) to come talk to your class. If you let me know where, I can connect you with some resources.
posted by quadrilaterals at 10:25 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

Look up on Facebook (Local Region or Large Town) Peace Corps Group or RPCVs and reach out there. RPCVs may be able to come in and talk about their country of service, games or food in that country and what work they did. Also reach out to a local recruiter and they should be able to put you in contact.

Hit me up if you're in the Charlotte, NC area!
posted by raccoon409 at 10:54 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]

Also depending on the country I would estimate 2 weeks for the letters to arrive, another 2 weeks for the students there to work on them and 2 weeks to have them sent back.
posted by raccoon409 at 10:55 AM on October 12

Organize a small sister service project to match what your penpal is doing? Ie, if she's teaching English to kids, you guys go to an elementary school and read to kindergarteners for an hour.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:25 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]

Read a kid-suitable book together about a volunteer's experience? Haven't read any of these but they sound interesting!

Also, I've always loved this New Yorker article -- if appropriate for kids, I'd totally read it with them.
posted by EtTuHealy at 12:18 PM on October 12

[on preview - I wrote this up a while ago but then forgot to hit 'Post,' so there's some redundancy with other answers....]

Depending on what country, it might also take a long time for the mail to get there (and then again a delay on the return trip of the reply mail).

Is there any sort of RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) community in your area? If so, there maybe be some of them who served in the country you are focusing on, and if THAT'S so, they may not only be interested in speaking with your students themselves but also know people from that country who are interested in interacting with your class in some capacity.

A couple other Peace Corps adjacent activities that might be of interest:

Do a world map project. Even if the volunteer you are communicating with didn't do one with her students, it's an odds on bet some PCV in that country has.
Find some Peace Corps language training for one or more of the languages spoken in the country and learn some interesting phrases.
posted by solotoro at 12:34 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]

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