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Local students attend Montessori Model UN Conference in Indiana

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ARCATA- Eleven Redwood Coast Montessori students spent the weekend in Indiana learning about global policy and teamwork.  It was all part of the Montessori Model United Nations Conference.

The fifth and sixth grad students spent Friday and Saturday at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne for the annual conference.  The students acted as delegates for China, Morocco, and Norway and researched the issues in those countries months in advance of the conference.

"They talked about world hunger, extreme poverty, child labor and child rights and then each committee worked together with students from other schools representing other nations to right a resolution for their solutions for the world issues," said Michelle Leonard, an Upper Elementary Teacher at Redwood Coast Montessori.

"The work was strenuous and there was a lot of stress and times when a lot of people besides me felt like it was almost time to quit, but we all plowed through it," said Luan Scrivner, a sixth grader at Redwood Coast Montessori.

Sixth grade Redwood Coast Montessori student Zoe Leanord learned how Norway can work with other nations to address extreme hunger.

"We can drill wells to get clean water and teach people how to harvest crops and to hunt for food and get food banks and more schooling with free lunch programs," said Leonard.

But teachers say the conference did not only teach students about global issues, but how to work with others.

“It's important for them to learn about constructively talking and coming to agreement on things and that can apply to their daily life but can also really apply to their future as well," Leonard said.

"I got to be around people who I probably would have never got to be around if I didn't do this and it made me more comfortable around more formal situations," said Sydira Shapiro, a sixth grade student at Redwood Coast Montessori.

Teachers also say the students mostly learned about the theme of Redwood Coast Montessori, peace.

"It's kind of the place where we start to understand that it's not just the nation you belong to, it's the whole world that's involved and if you dream big, it can come true," Scrivner said.

This was the second year Redwood Coast Montessori participated in the conference.