Colorado Students Win First International Global Call To Action Challenge, Sponsored by the Pearson Foundation and PeaceJam
06 November 2009
Ponderosa High School Earns Visit by Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum
Denver, CO – November 6 – A student-designed recycling project that reduced waste by 70% and energy consumption by 14% at Ponderosa High School in Douglas County, Colorado has been named the winner of the first 2009 Global Call to Action Challenge, sponsored by the Pearson Foundation and PeaceJam. In recognition of their efforts to analyze, identify, and put into practice measures to make a positive difference for their environment and community, the student body will receive a congratulatory visit from Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú Tum.
During Menchú Tum’s visit, students will have a chance to exchange approaches and strategies for extending their efforts even further. They’ll also work with professional filmmakers and Pearson Foundation representatives to document their achievements in a manner that can be shared with young people around the world. In addition, the students and school leadership will be honored by Menchú Tum at the annual PeaceJam Hero Awards Luncheon, to be held November 18, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.
In response to the Challenge, Ponderosa High School students first implemented an energy audit at their school to eliminate unnecessary spending. They also reached out to the local community and worked with Waste Management and Sony Corporation to institute an electronics recycling drive that kept more than 120,000 pounds of unwanted stereos, televisions, VCRs – and the toxic heavy metals they contain – out of landfills. “Our students became community leaders in the course of their efforts,” said Susan Meek, Acting Director of Communications for the Douglas County School District.
The Global Call to Action Challenge, which encourages young people to document their achievements in digital film and in writing, extends PeaceJam’s international mission of promoting the creation and implementation of one million local service projects that extend the work of leading Nobel Peace Laureates including Menchú Tum, Jody Williams, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“The students’ success at Ponderosa High School illustrates the power that young people have to improve their schools, their communities, and the world,” said Dawn Engle, PeaceJam co-founder. “Their efforts demonstrate that the spirit and commitment of the Nobel Peace Prize winners who support PeaceJam's mission are universal, and that – no matter what the age – each and every one of us can make an important difference.”
“An important component of the Global Call to Action Challenge is to help spread the word about these students’ remarkable achievement,” said Mark Nieker, President, the Pearson Foundation. “The thoughtful ways in which they set out to improve their community are lessons that should be shared with young people everywhere.”
Tickets for the PeaceJam Hero Awards Luncheon are available to the general public online at http://peacejam.org/2009luncheon or by calling 303-455-2099.
About Douglas County School District
Douglas County School District maintains its position as a leader in public education in Colorado, with many innovative programs and educational approaches. Support and coordination can be found at the District level, but each school has the flexibility to build its own instructional programs. Parents can find many different choices through the District such as open enrollment, charter schools, instruction for gifted and talented students, magnet schools, an International Baccalaureate program, Advanced Placement courses and other special programs. Our vision is to “create responsible citizens who contribute to society.” We strive to maintain a well-researched, integrated and standards-based curriculum, a rich array of extracurricular offerings and strong community involvement.
About the PeaceJam Foundation
PeaceJam is an international education program built around leading Nobel Peace Laureates who work personally with youth to pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody. The goal of PeaceJam is to inspire a new generation of peacemakers who will transform their local communities, themselves, and the world. Since its launch in 1996, more than 600,000 youth have participated in the PeaceJam program creating and implementing almost one million service projects. Over 150 PeaceJam youth events have taken place in over 10 different countries throughout the world.
About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation is the lead sponsor of the Global Call to Action Challenge and is the philanthropic arm of Pearson plc, one of the world’s leading media and education companies. The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson’s commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe.
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If You Go
PeaceJam Hero Awards Luncheon
November 18, 2009 11:30am-1:30pm
Seawell Ballroom, Denver Center for the Performing Arts
More information as well as how to purchase tickets available at: http://peacejam.org/2009luncheon or by calling 303-455-2099
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Bradlee Arendt or Jess Ward
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Address: PeaceJam Foundation 5605 Yukon Street,
Arvada, CO 80211