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October 15, 2008 > Pennies for peace

Pennies for peace

Submitted By Nicole Steward and Genevieve Angelides

Beginning now and ending before the Thanksgiving break, elementary school children throughout Fremont and Newark will be encouraged to earn and donate pennies to build schools for children in the remote mountain regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan who have a fierce desire to learn but no pencils, books or schools.

The program is called Pennies for Peace and emanated from the non-fiction book Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin that all Fremont is reading as part of the One Book, One Community program.

The Pennies for Peace project is sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in collaboration with the California Retired Teachers Association (CRTA) and the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD).

The donated pennies will go to the non-profit Central Asia Institute that Mortenson created to foster peace in the region one school at a time by collecting pennies from students around the U.S. and the world. (

The total donation from the children will be presented to author Mortenson when he comes to Fremont on March 3, 2009.

"A penny in the United States is virtually worthless," said AAUW program chairperson Sara Hinkel. "But in Pakistan and Afghanistan a penny buys a pencil and one hundred pennies pays the daily salary of a teacher. This program puts pennies to good use and teaches children the reward of sharing and working together to bring hope and education to less fortunate children."

As part of the program, Fremont elementary students will learn about the geography of the area and what life is like for children in the remote mountain villages of the two countries.

For more information about the Pennies for Peace fundraiser, please contact your child's school or call the AAUW Message Center at (510) 725-9700. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. You can also learn more about the program by going to the Three Cups of Tea AAUW website:

For more information visit us on the web at

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