Kennedy and the Peace Corps

“Ask not what your country can do for you: ask what you can do for your country.” With these inspiring words, John F. Kennedy launched the Peace Corps in 1961. Since then, over 150,000 Americans have brought skills, life-saving technological improvements – and a goodwill message of generosity and optimism to poor countries around the world. Harris Wofford tells the little-known story of how it began when Kennedy, on the campaign trail, spontaneously asked a group of college students if they would give a few years of their life to help others in underdeveloped parts of the world. The students’ response was so overwhelmingly positive, and their energy so contagious, that it galvanized the newly elected President into action. His campaign promise to create a corps of young men and women who “could work miracles for peace,” has been coming true ever since.

ELA Learning Standards:

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

W.9-10.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

WHST.9–10.2
Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.

WHST.9–10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the topic under investigation.

W.PK-12.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

W.PK-12.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Skills: Giving, Patriotism, Determination, Enthusiasm, Courage, Global Perspectives