Middle school students learn about ‘global citizenship’ | School brief

Madeline Rowe and Julia Wischman. - Contributed Photo
Madeline Rowe and Julia Wischman.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

Students in Nova Williams’ “Global Citizenship” class, an elective course for seventh- and eighth-graders about human rights issues around the world, took a field trip to World Vision’s AIDS Experience exhibit.

The students have learned that “every one of us is born free and equal in dignity and rights.” But through their study of current day conflict and injustices, the students discovered that the world is a long ways from realizing “dignity and justice for all of us.”

Students learned that more than 11 million children in Africa have lost one or both parents because of the AIDS epidemic. The World Vision Experience is an interactive, walk-through exhibit into the heart of Africa and the life of a child affected by the AIDS crisis.

Adrienne Bylsma, health and fitness teacher at IMS, provided facts and background on the AIDS epidemic prior to the field trip.

As they were challenged to “come walk in their steps,” the students faced the sad reality that many young people, with the same hopes and dreams of all children, do not survive the journey. What will it take to reverse this huge humanitarian crisis?

Approximately 1 billion people live in chronic hunger and more than 1 billion live in extreme poverty.

The Gates Foundation Visitors Center provides the backdrop for learning about global human rights, including this staggering fact about the world’s poor. While experiencing what it is like to carry buckets of water for over a mile and back to their homes, more than one student came away with a new appreciation for their own clean and running tap water.


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