Today in History: Kennedy Establishes the Peace Corps

| March 1, 2017

170301_news_219x365If you explore the Peace Corps website, and search for library or librarian among its “Stories”, you will certainly find work being done to advance literacy and improve education throughout the world — Moldova to Tanzania to Guyana. You’ll read of heroic efforts by teachers to build and stock libraries; the essential relationship between libraries and classrooms; and how libraries, the most democratic of institutions, open themselves to the greater community. Some stories are finished, others, in the beautiful process of unfolding, but there is live testament to the folk making the most to improve our world.

With an executive order issued on March 1, 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, the Peace Corps was established as a volunteer program aimed at assisting people outside the United States. Service includes work in governments, schools, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, and entrepreneurs in education, business, information technology, agriculture, and the environment. The mission includes helping: 1) the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women; 2) promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served and 3) promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Did you know that Teachers College, Columbia University offers teacher certification program that supports Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) as they become outstanding New York City public school teachers in high need schools while earning a master’s degree?  Read about the Peace Corps Fellows Program.

The following articles are selected from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

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Consult Educat, our catalog, for resources relating to the Peace Corps. International efforts by Teachers College can be explored in greater detail via Pocketnowledge, our institutions’ digital archive. Examples include Teachers for East Africa and Teacher Education in East Africa and other US Agency for International Development (US AID) Projects, including Peru, Afghanistan, and many more countries.


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