Brooklyn Excelsior MDG Summit

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Students eager to learn about the MDGs and Haiti just days after the January earthquake

For the second year in a row, Global Concerns Classroom visited Brooklyn Excelsior Charter School to facilitate a student workshop on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). On January 15, 2010, GCC worked with sixth graders to explore some of the world’s most pressing issues through the MDGs and to explore solutions to fight against poverty for eight different countries.

Just days after the January 12th, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Sylvia Wong, Concern’s Education Officer, opened the workshop day with a presentation on the Millennium Development Goals with a focus on Haiti as a case study. Concern has been working in Haiti since 1994 after Hurricane Gordon working with communities to improve health especially for mothers and children under 5, access to water and sanitation, education, HIV and AIDS, and livelihoods. After the January earthquake, Concern is working to scale-up its efforts targeting immediate emergency needs first, then long-term development including disaster-reduction plans.

After the presentation, the MDG workshop and student roles were explained and groups went straight to work. Students were divided into eight different groups, each assigned a country with a specific MDG goal to meet in their country context. Each student had to choose a role within their group either as ambassadors or ministers in a specific area with defined responsibilities. Students worked together within their individual roles to research and make a MDG plan for their country with an allocated $3 million budget.

Happy students making a plan for their group's MDG presentation

Students were engaged throughout the planning period, using props for skits and making creative posters for their presentations. At the end, each group presented their plan and budget to the MDG Global Summit Committee (teachers and Concern staff) who evaluated each group and picked a winning team. GCC was impressed by the creativity, collaboration, and public speaking skills displayed by all the groups.

As grade 6 teacher, Ms. Shapiro, stated: “Every student was engaged and they all learned a lot. They can’t stop talking about it! Our administration was very impressed and this program exceeded all their expectations. I look forward to making this an annual event at Brooklyn Excelsior and hope Concern can come back and visit again soon.”

Thank you to Brooklyn Excelsior for a great MDG workshop and for making it a successful and fun day for all of us!

For more on Global Concerns Classroom, go to GCC or contact [email protected] to set up a student workshop for your school.