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MPS students promote peace through United Nations world fair

Students from 13 MPS schools took charge of the UWM Panther Arena on April 11 to share their knowledge of countries across the globe. Student displays included photos, maps, and important facts about each country and culture. Projects dug deep to explore the strengths and challenges of each nation and the role each country plays in its region or continent. The world fair was the culmination of the year’s United Nations Schools of International Learning (UNSIL) program, which is implemented in 13 MPS schools.

The highlight of the day was a series of student performances that included African drumming, traditional songs, and a multicultural fashion show. Students had the chance to show pride in their roots by wearing traditional dress from their cultures. Schools in the UNSIL program serve students from diverse nationalities, languages, and cultures. Students at these 13 schools speak 35 different languages.

Through the UNSIL curriculum, elementary and middle school students are researching and learning about countries and world issues. The program promotes cultural awareness and develops skills needed in a global setting. Each year of the program expands upon the previous year’s work and moves students along a spectrum from studying to analyzing to taking action.

Grade 4 – Research on countries

Grade 5 – Technology project on the organizations and committees of the UN

Grade 6 – Global sustainability goals position paper

Grade 7 – Public service announcements on the UN Agencies and priority goals

Grade 8 – Service learning project

At a time when immigration is a sensitive topic, a $100,000 grant through the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Annette J. Roberts & Joan R. Robertson Fund for World Peace, World Law, and Peace Education, secured by the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation, has helped create and support the United Nations Schools of International Learning curriculum in thirteen MPS schools: Academy of Accelerated Learning, Bethune Academy, Burbank School, Garland School, Humboldt Park School, Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language, Parkview School, Milwaukee German Immersion, Story School, Gilbert Stuart School, Victory Italian Immersion School, U.S. Grant School, and Zablocki School. MPS expanded programming this year to include 4th through 8th grade students. When first instituted in MPS schools in 2016, the UNSIL program was offered in grades 4 and 6 at nine schools.

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Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
  • The MPS Class of 2018 earned $86+ million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to seven of the state and nation’s top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.

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