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Hershey Launches Innovative Distance Learning Program To Connect Children In U.S. And Rural Ghana

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, virtual classroom.

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 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, 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.

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