Stacey Jennings, Gifted Intervention Specialist at Middleburg Jr. High and Ford Middle School, received a $1250 Enrichment Grant from the Berea Education Foundation. The grant is for the 2014-15 school year and was used to provide financial assistance for Jennings’ sixth, seventh, and eighth grade enrichment students’ participation in “Junior Model United Nations.” Jennings’ grant involved 40 students in grades 6-8 and was designed to simulate the authentic process of the United Nations. It covered most of the cost of the students’ registrations and bus transportation to participate in the enrichment program’s culminating activity at John Carroll University’s Cleveland Council on World Affairs in January, 2015
Jennings describes Model UN (MUN) as an exercise in teamwork, research, conflict resolution, and leadership that leads to understanding the world through varying perspectives. Participants can work in pairs or individually. Students are also permitted to choose the country they will represent. Teamwork and time management are essential for this program.
Students in Junior Model United Nations worked as “delegates” and can selected a current topic based on their own interests. The issues ranged from finding a peaceful resolution for the
Assessments of the students’ projects was done several times between September and January 1. Weekly conferences, written research, position papers, and debate tactics was used as part of each assessment.
The culminating evaluation activity of each student’s work was done at the Junior Model UN Conference at John Carroll in January, 2015. Students included research and debate tactics as well as critically analyzed information they have learned. They applied the information and discussed it with others in the committee, working to persuade the others of why their solution would work best. Students then joined together to “co-author” a bill. Each student was awarded points by demonstrating his/her ability to work with others and to get their version of a resolution passed.
The ultimate goal throughout the program is to enable students to become proactive in the community and the world around them. Gaining the confidence to take risks, think critically, listen to varying perspectives, and investigate the world will assist students in creatively communicating ideas to diverse audiences and apply what they learn.
To earn her bachelor’s degree, Stacey Jennings attended Cleveland State University. She also spent six months studying educational and international issues at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia. Upon completion of her BA degree, she earned her MEd at Nova Southeastern University located outside of Tampa, FL where she also taught at a middle school performing arts school for eight years. The 2014-15 school year is her sixteenth year of teaching.
The Education Foundation is proud to support such a wonderful program.