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Model UN Celebrates National Human Rights Day

The Maplewood Middle School Model UN will head to the United Nations in New York to take part in a global conference.

Maplewood Middle School Model UN.
Maplewood Middle School Model UN.

Students at Maplewood Middle School created a “Peace on Earth” mural as part of a project with the Model United Nations Club.

The mural depicts the message “Let there be peace on Earth...And Let it begin with me...” written in different languages throughout the world and was displayed for National Human Rights Day on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

The mural shows a hand holding the world in its palm, with each finger painted a different color, representing global diversity, said Model UN Co-Advisor and Special Education Teacher Marc Gold.

“The students presented different sketches, then we voted and ended up merging three of the murals into one,” said Gold.

Gold Co-Advises the club with 8th grade Language Arts Teacher Susan Barry, who is celebrating her 40th year of teaching.

“Working with kids is never boring but I wanted to do something new,” she said. “These children have a special kind of interest in the world and see so far beyond themselves. They realize that there is a bigger world out there and take interest in current events.”

The Model UN is only in its second year at Maplewood Middle School and has already seen an explosion of interest. The club, which started during the 2012-2013 school year, jumped from just 12 students in its first year to 48 in its second.

“I'm really interested in politics and wanted to do something to make some sort of impact on society,” said 8th grade member Julia Cataneo.

The most exciting aspect of the club, some said, is the opportunity to visit the United Nations in New York City and take part in a program with students from all over the world. 36 students will be taking the three-day trip to the Model UN Global Conference where they will get to tour the UN and sit in the seats of the delegates.

From there, the students are assigned a country and broken up into 13 different committees to form their own Model UN with students from all over the world. Finally, they will prepare a position paper on their topic to present in front of their Model UN.

“I joined (the model UN) because it's new and I thought it would be fun to role play as different countries,” said 6th grade member Tim Rohan, who will represent the Russian Federation. “I'm most excited for the experience of public speaking in front of kids from around the world.”

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