With eager eyes and ears Lawrence Woodmere Academy’s Upper School listened to the experiences of a Concern Worldwide representative and discussed Human Rights in its classrooms last month.
Concern Worldwide, which aids developing nations, brings its knowledge and experience of real world epidemics, like hunger, into the classrooms of American schools. The woman that represented Concern Worldwide at our school had worked in Ethiopia this past year.
The assembly captured the attention of many by explaining harsh and devastating statistics. “The assembly was eye opening and I liked that the representative used aspects of pop culture, like ‘The Hunger Games’ series, to relate topics we may not fully understand,” senior Michael Levitt said.
In the school’s library mezzanine, Upper School came together the to hear about devastating realities affecting sub-Saharan Africa including malnutrition, high infant mortality rates and extreme poverty. The day was filled with talk and appreciation for what we have in our school community, with a special emphasis in classroom discussions on the importance of having the freedom that we do. There, students excitingly shared what they thought about education worldwide by speaking with friends and teachers.
A stimulating and thought-provoking environment for all students was created. The Upper school will engage in more Concern Worldwide assemblies throughout the school year to discuss other epidemics and learn ways to help.
Earlier in the day, during Headmasters Homeroom, a weekly Upper School assembly, the students celebrated National Human Rights day, where students learned about Malaya Yousafzai and her life as a women’s rights and education activist in Pakistan. At 16, she is the youngest person to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and her story and purpose resonated through LWA’s hallways.
Laura Maffei, an Upper School English teacher, carried Malala’s book “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban,” explaining to students who she was and about her writing.
The Upper School had the opportunity to step out of its world and learn about the experience of people around the world that fight for what we are so lucky to have. The impact of days like these is evident: Classrooms teem with passionate voices and students learn to appreciate their ability to think, grow and learn in an encouraging environment.