Gov. William Donald Schaefer told Karen Muir's seventh-grade geography class that he's just as guilty as the next guy when it comes to running water needlessly while brushing his teeth.
But during his visit yesterday he urged the George Fox Middle School students to thinkabout different ways they could conserve water and other natural resources.
Muir's class is one of 62 statewide that will correspond with classrooms all over the globe in the World Wise Schools program developed by the Peace Corps and the National Governor's Association as part of American Education Week.
"Although our problems are small compared to many nations, conservation is very important and something we should all strive for," Schaefer told pupils of the Pasadena school.
"Two towns in Western Maryland actually suffered water shortages this summer as a result of a serious drought. It's closer to home thanyou might think."
Muir has established a partnership with Peace Corps volunteer Judith Denny and junior high school teacher David Nelson in the Central African Republic, a country slightly smaller in size than Texas.
The republic has an annual per capita income of $350, a life expectancy of 44 years, an infant mortality rate of 134 per 1,000 births, and about 108 doctors to cover its population of more than 2,744,000.
"I picked the Central African Republic because it'sone of the lesser-known African nations. My class recently completeda health and disease unit, and as unfortunate as the situation is there, Ithink we can learn a lot from studying their culture," Muir said.
Joining Principal John Brown at the school were Nancy Grasmick,state superintendent of schools, and Barbara Zartman, deputy director of the Peace Corps.
"Maryland's education goals for the year 2000 underscore the state's commitment to excellence in math and scienceeducation, as well as in the skills of global citizenship," Grasmicksaid.
Zartman added: "By learning about others, we learn more about ourselves. In your own way, you're helping to promote world peace and friendship."