Our students have been on quite a journey this year. They laughed and cried as they learned about the joys and sorrows the Lost Boys of Sudan experienced in their decades-long sojourn from their home countries to the United States and back again.
The 7th grade S.S. Human Rights experience is full of exploration of the world and the human rights violations happening every day. But, for years, we’ve had a special connection with the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan and their amazing stories of survival. This year has been no different.
Because the students are so passionate about the Lost Boys, last year, we started having a raffle (using baskets created by homerooms with donated items) to raise money for the new schools the Lost Boys have built in South Sudan. Not only do we raise valuable funds, but we also raise awareness of the experiences of the predicaments of those around the world.
We started our Human Rights unit examining the Lost Boys of Sudan and their plight. We continued examining their experiences and will finish (on Friday, May 13) by having the Lost Boys in to speak with our students. This year, we also have the honor of having John Dau (the writer of God Grew Tired of Us and Lost Boy, Lost Girl). This day will be remembered by students for years to come.
We will not only be donating the funds from our raffle to them and their cause, but this year, we’re also sending a Little Free Library (those lovely boxes that are outside community centers and other places that allow people to borrow books and return) to South Sudan as part of a project inspired by monies received by Mallory Weber for her Hero in the Classroom award from the Bears. According to the website, Shepard’s Little Free Library will be the first of its kind in South Sudan and all of Africa!
Looking at the world and understanding its many facets is only part of what we do here at Shepard in 7th grade, but we pride ourselves on these worldly experiences to help guide students into a broader understanding of the world and their place in it.