PRESS RELEASE - February 19, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

School Districts Asked to Observe National Peace Corps Week During March 1-7

(Santa Fe, NM)--Schools and civic organizations from across New Mexico are being encouraged to celebrate National Peace Corps Week on March 1-7. Governor Bill Richardson has proclaimed the week as an opportunity for communities and school districts to participate in furthering the objectives of the Peace Corps as envisioned by the late President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.

President Kennedy signed the United States Peace Corps into law on the first day of March in 1961. The federal act acknowledged the value of service and provided that Peace Corps volunteers should represent the United States to the peoples of the world and bring their knowledge and understanding of other cultures and other ways of life back home.

Peace Corps volunteers are urged to visit their community’s schools and civic organizations to discuss their Peace Corps experiences and what they have learned from them. Grade school students are encouraged to make posters, school homerooms are encouraged to show Peace Corps films and school cafeterias are encouraged to serve up authentic fare.

Schools can log on to the Peace Corps website at www.peacecorps.gov and check “Peace Corps Week” for the names of returned volunteers and ideas for the observance.

The week further recognizes the 1,781 New Mexicans who since 1961 have served with distinction in the Peace Corps and continue to serve the citizens of the state.