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Roots & Wings Montessori students bound for the UN

Amy Rudman, Sumrit Sanghera, Kyro Plaviak, Nastassia Moravec and Maxime Labrecque (left to right) are part of a group of students from Roots & Wings Montessori school planning to attend a model UN program in New York in April. The students have been selling muffins weekly, as well as doing plenty of other fundraising, to help gather the funds to go on the trip. - Evan Seal / The Leader
Amy Rudman, Sumrit Sanghera, Kyro Plaviak, Nastassia Moravec and Maxime Labrecque (left to right) are part of a group of students from Roots & Wings Montessori school planning to attend a model UN program in New York in April. The students have been selling muffins weekly, as well as doing plenty of other fundraising, to help gather the funds to go on the trip.
— image credit: Evan Seal / The Leader

All the studying and memorizing – not to mention the tireless fundraising – is consuming an enormous amount of their time and energy.

But the goal, a trip to the United Nations in New York, is what’s keeping kids at Roots & Wings Montessori motivated.

The group of nine- to 14-year-olds are heading to the Big Apple in April to participate in The Montessori Model United Nations, a program developed for students to learn the work of the UN by actually participating in it.

Students from around the world are assigned a country for the mock UN and become ambassadors for that country. The Grade 4-7 classmates from Roots & Wings are divided into two groups, one representing the Philippines and one Zimbabwe.

“When we go into the UN, we have to know everything about our countries,” says student Maxime Labrecque.

The kids have also been studying up on other cultures, religions, societies and peoples throughout the world.

“We had to memorize 195 countries,” says 11-year-old Kyro Plaviak.

And they’ve identified a lengthy list of problems facing the world, such as poverty, disease and terrorism.

“And the mistreatment of women and children,” adds 12-year-old Amy Rudman.

Sumrit Sanghera, 12, said it was initially disheartening and a little overwhelming to look at the many world problems, but he and his classmates understand that even small steps can instigate change.

The kids will participate in smaller discussion groups and any potential solutions the youth come up with will be sent to the actual UN secretary general to take into consideration.

“It’s pretty stunning that a group of kids can make a difference in the world,” says Plaviak.

“We hope that we can make a difference,” adds Nastassia Moravec, 12.

The trip is planned for April 13-22 and will also include an excursion to Washington, DC.

Kids and parents at the school have been fundraising for months, baking and selling muffins to local businesses, holding an online auction, selling toys and books, holding bottle drives and a movie night. And while they’ve raised about $3,000, it’s a far cry from the $25,000 required.

To that end, the privately run school is hoping to get corporate sponsorship or cash donations to help cover the cost of air fare and hotel accommodation.

To learn more about the UN trip, check http://bit.ly/fi7PSu. Donations can be made by clicking on the ‘You Can Help’ button. Or call the school at 604-574-5399.

sreynolds@surreyleader.com

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