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Guarino Speaks at World Vision Event at Lincoln Memorial

Elon School of Communications junior Jennifer Guarino was a featured speaker at an Oct. 11 Washington, D.C., event in remembrance of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Parents, teachers, children, foreign ambassadors, celebrities and advocacy groups met on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to honor the victims of the attacks and reassert their commitment to children around the globe.

The "Remember the Children" event was hosted and coordinated by World Vision. National PTA Board of Directors member Guarino and students from around the United States presented a list of 10 principles aimed at improving the lives of children around the world. Surrounded onstage by 11,000 colorful roses donated by the nation of Ecuador, Guarino presented principle number four: educate every child.

"I think it is important to educate every child," she said at the event. "I grew up in a PTA household, and was taught that education is very important. My parents were the first teachers my sister and I were exposed to, and they set the stage for the importance of education. Every child deserves caring adults and teachers to show them the value of learning. I believe that every child must have the opportunity to develop academic and life skills to become a responsible citizen in a global society."

Guarino said that free, quality education must be available to all children - to the 100 million worldwide (mostly girls) who do not attend school and to the 40 percent who never make it past the 5th grade. The other young people who spoke at the event joined her in presenting principles that addressed the need to care for every child, listen to children, include every child and protect the Earth for children.

Other highlights of the event included a performance by the Duke Ellington Gospel Choir, a violin solo by a young Muslim boy and a vocal solo by Kathie Lee Gifford on the song, "Remember the Children," written especially for the occasion.

The National PTA is the largest volunteer child-advocacy group in the United States. It is a non-profit association of parents, educators, students and other citizens active in their schools and communities. It has 6.5 million members working in 26,000 chapters in 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and in Department of Defense schools in the Pacific and Europe.

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