Taking The People, Places and Patterns Project Beyond The Classroom

Me again! If you’ve been following along with the People, Places and Patterns Project (http://tinyurl.com/pwc-pppp) you know by now I’m intent on visiting classrooms and presenting photos, videos and stories from the trip to help inspire children to explore beyond their borders.  This is one of the main reasons for the trip, with another being to have my daughter experience the Africa leg firsthand.

Last night I hit upon a crazy idea, induced by lack of sleep and too much chocolate.  And I could use your help in making it reality.  First, if you haven’t already done so, please find a way to scrape a few pennies together to donate to the project at http://tinyurl.com/pwc-pppp.  Second, and this is a bit more important because the positive results are further reaching, I need a contact at a portable data storage company.  Some place like Kingston or Sandisk.  I need this contact because I want to offer the presentation I’ll be, uhh, presenting in schools and community groups to follow the kids home.

My plan is to make a PC/Mac slideshow that kids can play at home that have the best shots from the trips.  Most of these they will have seen in class when I visit.  I want the inspiration planted that day to live on past my visit.  To that end, I want to package the slideshow and some other location information about Spain, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania and Nepal, onto a USB thumbdrive and deliver it to each student I meet.  It would be accompanied with a picture postcard explaining to their parents what is on the drive and how they can explore the areas, virtually, with their children.

I know not all kids have computers at home, but I know a lot of schools and libraries do.  It is my hope that at least ten children out of every class I visit will take the drive home and start dreaming about visiting far off places like Africa and Nepal.  It is my hope they will hold on to that dream and find a way to make it a reality, and share their experience with others.  I realize many kids will either lose the drive or wipe it clean so they can trade pirated software and music with friends, but I’m willing to lose a few for the chance to motivate many.

Can schools and community groups get the same type of slideshow from the academic mainstream?  I’m sure they can and I’m sure there are some big names behind presenting that material.  What I’m offering, I believe, is different.  I strongly believe kids of differing ages will connect much better with a real live person in their classroom, showing pretty pictures and stories up on their video screen, rather than just the screen running the show.  I’m offering the added value of someone who can directly answer questions about what it’s really like to see elephants lumbering through the forest or watching snake charmers in Marrakech.

If you have a contact with a likely corporate sponsor, I’d love to hear from you.  Or if you’re directly connected with a company fitting the profile I outlined, I’d love to talk with you today.  Here’s my email address.   Thank you!!

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