What do children know about the United Nations? If you’ve been to an elementary school classroom lately, you know the answer is “not much” (if anything). Given the value that the organization brings to the human race, that’s quite unfortunate.
As Editor-in-Chief of News-O-Matic, I believe strongly that even very young students should know the importance of the U.N. And that includes not only its impact on world peace but its continuing missions to end extreme poverty, civil rights abuses, world hunger, and disease. That’s why the kids’ newspaper commemorated United Nations Day on October 24 — the 69th birthday of the U.N. And I wasn’t alone. Joining me was the fourth-grade student government of Avenues: The World School. The eight students in the council were given the incredible opportunity to visit the international territory of the United Nations headquarters.
The group of elementary school students received a private tour of the United Nations, getting to explore the General Assembly Hall, where the leaders of 193 member states meet, debate, and work toward world peace. They met with Maher Nasser, the Acting Head of the U.N. Department of Public Information. But their experience didn’t end there. The students actively participated in the news-making event by writing about their visit.
The group of 9- and 10-year-old kids reflected on the impact of the United Nations on the global community. By sharing their words with News-O-Matic, the students shaped a News-O-Matic article published for a worldwide audience of elementary and middle grade students. And through their eyes, a new generation can begin to understand why the United Nations is here.
“Without the UN there would be no world peace.” – Eric, age 9.
“They help us with all problems like diseases, wars, and other stuff.” – Lucky age 10
“No one should be tortured or made to do something they don’t want to.” – Noe, age 9
“Kids should know that the United Nations is very important. Lots of important people go there to have meeting and votes.” – Jacqueline, age 10
“All the people there help to make the world a better place.” – Blause, age 9
These kids get it. And hopefully through their story, countless thousands of others will as well. Happy United Nations Day!
Questions? Contact Russell Kahn at russ.com.