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Syracuse University PECK program enables children in Kenya to attend school by providing pens, school supplies
Syracuse University PECK program enables children in Kenya to attend school by providing pens, school suppliesApril 14, 2008Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
That extra pen in your desk can help make a difference in the life of a child in Kenya. By donating your pen and other office supplies, you can enable Kenyan children to attend school. Syracuse University is collecting these items as part of the Pens for Educating Children in Kenya (PECK) program. To date, this program has collected an incredible 41,000 pens. Organizers of PECK hope to meet or exceed that total this year.
PECK was started in 2007, when Mitch Gartenberg, former director of recreation services at SU, visited Kenya on vacation and encountered several children asking for pens so they could go to school. In Kenya, pens and other school supplies are difficult to obtain and afford. Determined to help, Gartenberg returned to Syracuse and began collaborating with SU mathematics professor and Fulbright Scholar Joanna Masingila, who had been working with students and teachers in Kenya. Masingila had been traveling to the country since 2002, to work with the people in the village of Kamanzi to build a school.
“We’ve worked together to build a new primary school with 10 classrooms, administrative offices, a kitchen, and for the first time, a library,” says Masingila. “We have also had professional development workshops expanded to 130 from 30, thanks to a grant we received from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Though people may think a pen is not worth much, it can make a tremendous difference for children in Kenya, who cannot attend school unless they have a working pen.”
Masingila will travel to Kenya with a group of colleagues this August to continue her work and deliver the pens to the children. Pens donated through April will be shipped at the end of the month, but the collection continues year-round. In addition to pens, other school supplies are needed, such as notebooks and pencils. PECK collection sites are located in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center and the Goldstein Student Center. For more information on PECK, contact Masingila at (315) 443-1483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.