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Webb saves ‘Pennies for Peace’

While a penny may seem virtually useless to most students in the United States, it can buy a pencil for a child in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Put all those pennies together and they can help build schools and open the doors of literacy.

That’s the message put forth by Pennies for Peace, and for the next eight months, Webb School of Knoxville will host a school-wide effort to benefit the Pennies for Peace organization.

Pennies for Peace, administered by the Central Asian Institute and headed up by Greg Mortenson, author of the recent bestseller, “Three Cups of Tea,” believes promoting education and literacy will help provide better economic opportunities for the children of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Webb School students in grades kindergarten-through-12 are collecting pennies during the 2008-2009 year to deposit into water containers set up around campus.

The money raised will be sent to the Central Asian Institute based in Boseman, Mont., and will later be used to help build schools, buy school supplies and pay for teachers in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Webb’s multicultural coordinator, Elizabeth Gregor, has been working with students in Webb’s Lower School Spartan Service after-school club, and Middle and Upper School students who have volunteered to be “Global Ambassadors” for the project to periodically collect and count the pennies, host events for Pennies for Peace, and develop creative ways to collect funds for P4P.

During the year, Webb teachers will incorporate information about life in Pakistan and Afghanistan into their classrooms and curricula, and Webb’s new Coleman-Lange International Center will host a cultural display highlighting the two countries as well as the Pennies for Peace program.

“Through Pennies for Peace our students learn about the value of a good education and that they can make a positive impact on a global scale one penny at a time,” Gregor said.

“Pennies for Peace teaches our children the rewards of sharing and working together to bring hope and educational opportunities to children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

“Literacy, for both boys and girls, provides better economic opportunities in the future and quite often a whole village benefits from the education of children, especially girls. A fifth grade education for a girl improves not only the basic indices of health for her and her family, but she will also spread the value of education within her community,” she added.

Gregor noted that in the first couple weeks of the project, Webb School collected more than $750 in pennies and change.

For additional information on Pennies for Peace, visit


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