In December, I had one of most rewarding experiences of my tenure at the U.S. Fund when a friend invited me to speak to her daughter Riley’s third grade class at Pine Bush Elementary School in Guilderland, NY. Riley’s teacher, Ms. Germano, and her fellow third grade teachers have been raising funds for Trick or Treat for UNICEF for the past 8 years. This year the classes raised $1,700 to support UNICEF’s work.
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Daniel Sadowsky is on the education team at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
Where would you be today without your teachers? Chances are you’d have great difficulty reading a news story, budgeting your family resources, or understanding another’s point of view. For their essential contributions to the advancement of humanity, members of the UN family recognize teachers each year on October 5, or World Teachers’ Day.
Last month, TeachUNICEF and UNICEF kicked off a pilot program named Connecting Classrooms in two NYC high schools, the High School for Global Citizenship (in collaboration with Global Kids) Brooklyn, and Harry S Truman High School in the Bronx.
Connecting Classrooms is an educational program which links classrooms around the world. It enables students in developing and industrialized countries to collaborate around topics of shared concern such as health and climate change.
It’s been almost two months since the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Although it seems like there’s less urgency with the news coverage on the quake, there are long-term effects of the disaster. This past weekend, the New York Times published an article commenting on how the earthquake left not only the city in ruins, but the education system as well.
Hundreds of teachers, and thousands of students lost their lives in the quake. Many schools and colleges have been destroyed, or are considered too dangerous to resume classes. With less schools and less facilities to properly train more teachers, the education of Haiti’s children is in “limbo”.
What does a child need to be safe, healthy, and to develop to his or her full potential?
This is not an easy question to answer, but who better to ask than children?
Dr. Sara Young (an instructor from UMass) and I spoke last week with elementary students from the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Public Charter School in Hadley, MA. We introduced them to UNICEF, its work with children around the world, and how they can take action through Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and other opportunities.
On June 10th the TeachUNICEF team and other community members spoke to over 500 New York City youth about the importance of clean water. We reflected on our own water usage and some of the challenges people around the world face when trying to access clean water. Led by a marching band, we then joined the youth in walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to simulate the distance many people around the world walk to access clean water. Youth carried signs and chanted, educating New Yorkers as they passed. It was moving to see so many people unite for such an important cause.
TeachUNICEF and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF are committed to global water and sanitation issues. To learn more about these issues and download free classroom resources click here.
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