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Pencils of Promise Has Built Schools on Three Continents



From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

Adam Braun established the organization Pencils of Promise in 2008. Its goal is to make sure all children have a chance for an education. Six years later, the non-profit group is building a new school somewhere every 90 hours. It has helped more than 22,000 children in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It all started when Adam Braun was a college student. He was visiting India when a boy stopped him on the street. The boy asked for money.

Mr. Braun asked the boy what he would want if he could have anything in the world. He said he thought the boy would say 'a house' or 'a car.' But his answer was 'a pencil.' Adam Braun says he then realized that the boy had never been to school. He says that is the truth for more than 57 million children around the world. Mr. Braun raised money for his first Pencils of Promise project by using social media. The group built its first school five years ago in Laos. Since then, it has helped pay for more than 200 schools in rural areas of Laos, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Ghana.

Mr. Braun says Pencils of Promise works closely with the local education agencies. He says these government officials organize the main program of studies. But, he says Pencils of Promise provides additional learning materials about health, water and waste systems. Adam Braun is now expanding his organization's work beyond the elementary school level. Pencils of Promise has developed financial plans to help students continue on to secondary school and teacher training.

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