|[November 12, 2012]
Hershey Launches Innovative Distance Learning Program to Connect Children in U.S. and Rural Ghana
HERSHEY, Pa. --(Business Wire)--
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) has launched a unique distance learning
program linking school children in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Ghana
through real-time, high-definition technology that creates a common,
The program allows approximately 80 elementary students to learn
together based on a curriculum developed by teachers in Hershey and
Ghana. Hershey is the largest U.S. chocolate maker and Ghana is a world
leader in cocoa production.
The Hershey Learn to Grow: Ghana Distance Learning Program
is a first-of-its-kind program developed in collaboration with the
Milton Hershey School, the M.S. Hershey Foundation and Hershey Story
Museum, Cisco, and African partners that include the Assin Fosu school,
Ghana Education Service, Ghana Cocoa Board and Source (News - Alert) Trust.
"We are thrilled by how well our students have responded to this new way
of learning about Ghana and seeing links between cocoa growing and
chocolate making," said Joel Crowley, fourth grade teacher at Milton
Hershey School. "Everyone in Hershey has been inspired by the passion
the children and teachers in Ghana have for learning together through
this powerful technology."
"In Ghana, we are focused on bringing the highest quality education to
our rural schools and believe this technology-based programming is a
major step forward," said Eric Gyeke, headmaster of the FOSCO
Demonstration School in Ghana. "Our children are delighted by the
relationships they are forming with the Milton Hershey School students."
Using high-definition telepresence video technology from Cisco (News - Alert), 11- and
12-year-old students in Assin Fosu, Ghana, a rural town located in the
Central Region, are participating face-to-face in a life-like virtual
classroom program with fourth-grade students located on a different
continent at Milton Hershey School (MHS) in Hershey, Pa. The MHS
students connect to Ghana from The Hershey Story Museum's Chocolate Lab
located in downtown Hershey, Pa. Teachers from both schools, in addition
to educators from the museum, lead the sessions together, following the
same curriculum and lesson plans.
Based on the early success of the Hershey's Learn to Grow: Ghana
Distance Learning program, the partners have decided to extend the
program - originally slated for 10 modules over two months - through the
full academic year and explore opportunities to further expand the
"At Milton Hershey School, we try to emphasize to our students that they
are a very important part of a bigger community, and this program takes
it one step further," said Dr. Anthony Colistra, President of the
School. "Students are engaging with their peers in Ghana for valuable
lessons in subjects like geography and science. While they are
participating in this experiential learning exercise, they ar also
finding out that despite distance and cultural differences, they have a
lot in common."
The Ghana Distance Learning Program is one component of a comprehensive
set of programs implemented by The Hershey Company to engage with cocoa
communities and improve the lives of cocoa families around the world.
Students from both countries connect every two weeks and go through six
structured lesson plans over the course of three months. The lessons
help the students gain a better understanding of each other's cultures
and create a global connection. Students look at factors that impact
daily life in each country, from climate and weather to understanding
local geography. They also learn about how cocoa connects their
respective local economies.
The students in Ghana live in one of the highest cocoa-producing regions
in the world. Together, the students will learn how their countries
partner to take cocoa from pod to a finished product. The Ghanaian
students will share information about cocoa farming and learn how cocoa,
the key ingredient to chocolate, is grown and where it originates.
The U.S. students and teachers, who live in the same town where some of
the world's most famous chocolate products are made, will share
information about how the cocoa grown in Ghana becomes delicious
chocolate products. The students in Ghana will get to taste chocolate
bars made in Hershey, Pa., with many trying chocolate for the first time.
Each of the distance learning sessions incorporates a cultural exchange
activity, an interactive lesson which ties into the curriculum and a
"Q&A" session between the students. This distance learning program is
part of The Hershey Company's multiple initiatives to reinforce cocoa
sustainability and accelerate farmer and family development in West
Africa, where 70 percent of the world's cocoa is grown. The program was
made possible through a unique public/private partnership between The
Hershey Company, Cisco Systems (News - Alert), Milton Hershey School, The Hershey Story
Museum and Source Trust.
Source Trust is a non-profit organization focused on sustainable farming
practices which improve the lives of farmers and their families. Earlier
this year, The Hershey Company partnered with Source Trust to create the Hershey
Learn to Grow farmer and family development center in Assin Fosu in
Ghana's central cocoa region. The distance learning program is now part
of the Learn to Grow program.
Over the next five years, The Hershey Company will expand and accelerate
programs to improve cocoa communities by investing millions of dollars
in West Africa and continuing to work with experts in agriculture,
community development and government to drive long-term change in cocoa
villages where families will benefit from the investments in education,
health and economic opportunities. Earlier this year, Hershey announced
a $10 million commitment to accelerate its programs in West Africa. In
addition, Hershey recently committed to third-party certification by
2020 for 100 percent of the cocoa used for all of its chocolate products.
For more information about Hershey's cocoa sustainability programs in
West Africa, please see: www.HersheyCocoaSustainability.com.
[U.S. media note: Contact Sara Ensminger at SEnsminger@MSHersheyFoundation.org
for information about attending a distance learning session at The
Hershey Story Museum on November 27]
About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality
chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar
confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has
operations throughout the world and approximately 14,000 employees. With
revenues of more than $6 billion, Hershey offers confectionery products
under more than 80 brand names, including such iconic brands as Hershey's,
Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Bliss,
Hershey's Special Dark, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, Jolly
Rancher and Ice Breakers. Hershey also offers premium and
artisan chocolate products under such brands as Scharffen Berger
and Dagoba through the Artisan Confections Company, a wholly
owned subsidiary. The company is focused on growing its presence in key
international markets such as China and Mexico while continuing to build
its competitive advantage in the United States and Canada.
For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making
a positive difference in the communities where its employees live, work
and do business. Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of
the company's global business strategy, which includes goals and
priorities focused on fair and ethical business dealings, environmental
stewardship, fostering a desirable workplace for employees, and
positively impacting society and local communities. Milton Hershey
School, established in 1909 by the company's founder and administered by
Hershey Trust Company, provides a quality education, housing, and
medical care at no cost to children in social and financial need.
Students of Milton Hershey School are direct beneficiaries of The
Hershey Company's success.
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