LWA Middle School Summit on Women & Girls

Partnering once again with Concern Worldwide, the Middle School, grades 5-8, took part in a Global Summit on the theme of Women and Girls: Keys to the Future. The students were broken up into eight multi-grade groups to explore solutions for the challenges of women and girls in a variety of countries, including Rwanda, Haiti, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sierrra Leone, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Liberia.

Each team was given an imaginary budget of one million dollars and information on a variety of programs and their costs to improve conditions in their region. The team had to decide how to spend the money on projects including nutrition, critical health care, agriculture, water and sanitation, and education. They then had to develop a presentation to pitch their proposal to the Concern Worldwide staff and faculty members who were official observers, guides and judges for the day’s events.

Each group was led by 8th grade students who facilitated the work of the group and guided them through the tasks of the day. The groups deployed a robust variety of presentation modalities including PowerPoint, Google docs to allow several students to work on a common presentation simultaneously, movie-making, posters and a skit. The students presented their budgets and dollar for dollar how they would spend their money to create a useful and sustainable solution. The students gathered at the end of the day in Hessel Hall and were critiqued by the judges. The group representing The Democratic Republic of the Congo was chosen as the winner of the competition for the $1M.

The students worked with such dedication and determination throughout the day, some students even giving up their recess time to complete their presentations. This opportunity for student leadership and collaboration among the multi-grade groups created an active and dynamic day for all!