by Danielle Wagner
OSSIAN (KWWL) All the students at South Winneshiek school read a version of the book Three Cups of Tea.
The book mentions a program called "Pennies for Peace," which helps build schools and improve education in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Students at South Winneshiek decided they wanted to collect coins for the program.
"We do know it's going to build facilities. It's going to buy desks, paper, pencils, the basics toward learning," said teacher Kurt Straube.
The basics of learning, which many students admit they take for granted growing up in Iowa. Students at South Winneshiek learned a significant component to building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan is giving female students a chance to learn.
"When we read the book there was a quote if you teach a boy you taught a person and if you teach a girl you taught a community. Meaning the boy will keep farming or go and leave the village all together and the girl will usually stay in the village and continue teaching generations to come," said student Jonathan Barness.
The goal was to raise $500 for the Pennies for Peace, but in the end the students raised around $1,000.
Thanks to the students' success, teacher Kurt Straube agreed to get a mohawk. While the mohawk reward was fun, the real reward was knowing something as small as collecting a penny can make a big difference in another person's life.
"This sort of fits all the pillars. It's caring because caring for other people. we're feeling responsibility and taking some charge of it," said Preston Hayek.
The students said the project was eye opening, and made them more aware of other cultures and thankful for the education they receive.
For more information on Pennies for Peace. Click here.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner