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NEWS RELEASES 2001-02 :: MARCH 25, 2002


North Carolina students are reaching out to help students and teachers in Afghanistan. There are some 9.6 million school-age children in Afghanistan. Many of these children and their teachers lack desks, paper, pencils, and other basic school supplies.

North Carolina students, sparked by a visit to Afghanistan by State Superintendent Mike Ward, initiated the Student to Student: North Carolina Reaches Out to Afghanistan project to provide these much-needed school supplies.

Students across the state are putting together student and teacher kits. The North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church is supplying warehouse space and the international relief organization, Stop Hunger Now, is coordinating the delivery of the kits to Afghanistan.

Ward said the effort is the result of a student's question during a conference call he had with North Carolina students while he was in Afghanistan. The student asked how North Carolina students could help Afghanistan children. Stop Hunger Now and other groups are helping to provide food and other essentials. After visiting schools in Afghanistan and seeing the lack of supplies, he suggested students collect school supplies. Three North Carolina students who participated in the conference call are co-chairs of the project. They are: Jennifer Bishop, Southeast Raleigh High School; Carrie Hamilton, West Forsyth High School; and Krystal Hill, Richmond Senior High School.

Student kits include: 8 1/2 x 11 white paper (min. 50-sheet pkg.), #2 yellow pencils, pencil sharpener (small, handheld), ballpoint pens, colored pencils, crayons, watercolor paints, clipboard (no stickers), safety scissors, ruler (metric), and soap/washcloth/tube socks.

Teacher kits include: 8 1/2 x 11 white paper (min. 50-sheet pkg.), construction paper, chalk, tape, tape measure, glue sticks, world map, inflatable globe, scissors, ruler (metric), ballpoint pens, markers and clipboard. Clipboards are particularly important since there are no desks.

The kits should be packaged individually in plastic storage/sweater boxes (approx. 10" X 14"), plastic storage bags or bookbags. If plastic storage bags are used, students may want to clip the bags to the clipboard.

Kits can either be delivered to the United Methodist Church warehouses or shipped there.

Eastern Facility-MERCI-The Marion Edwards Recovery Center, 676 Community Drive, Goldsboro, NC 27530, phone: 1.888.440.9167, (second number is 1.800.849.4433, ext. 318).

Western Facility-Western N.C. Conference Mission Response Center, 8973 Greenwood Rd, Terrell, NC 28682-9738, phone: 1.800.562.7929.

If groups prefer to make a financial contribution, please make checks payable to Stop Hunger Now and mark them for Student to Student Project. Send financial contributions to Stop Hunger Now, Student to Student Project, 2501 Clark St., Suite 301, Raleigh, NC 27607-7213. Stop Hunger Now is a 501C, (3) nonprofit organization.

A special Web site on the project includes additional details. The site is located at or call the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's Communications Division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.