7th Grade Knights Team
New Mark Middle School, NKCSD
The 7th grade Knights Team will participate in a fundraiser held May 16 – May 30, 2013. This will be a two-week challenge/fundraiser, called “Change for Change: The Two Week Water Challenge.” During this two week period we are challenging students to only drink water and to donate the “change” they would have spent on soda, juice, Gatorade, etc during this two week period.
This fundraiser is to help earn money for a drill in South Sudan. In preparation, Mrs. Patterson is reading aloud the true story "A Long Walk to Water." This book is a chronicle of the life of Salva Dut, one of the “Lost Boys” who, at age 11, survived Sudan’s civil war by walking across Africa’s harsh wilderness to reach safety in refugee camps. Nineteen years after being separated from his family, Salva went back to Sudan in search of his father. Ironically, his father had survived the brutal war only to become gravely ill from drinking contaminated water. Salva decided he would find a way to make sure his father never had to drink contaminated water again. He spent the next few years building his not-for-profit Water for South Sudan organization which has been drilling wells in Southern Sudan since 2005.
New Mark students will be learning about the many life changing benefits that take place when a well is drilled in a village. Women no longer have to travel long distances each day for water, more stable structures such as schools and clinics can be built with handmade bricks, and infant mortality and disease is dramatically reduced. Additionally, our students will be developing a better understanding of how fortunate they are to be living in the community they do today and what it means to become a true citizen of the world who reaches out to improve and positively impact the lives of others living on our planet.
The pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters students donate will help “change” the terrible water conditions many children live with in South Sudan. The teachers on the Knights team hope that our human spirits will be touched. We encourage students to bring change or do a chore to earn some change for change!
You can learn more about this organization at www.waterforsouthsudan.org
On Thursday, May 30 we will be completing our challenge with a walk for water. We are asking student to bring in empty milk cartons that we can use for the activity!
On Monday, May 20th students will be going on our last team field trip! We are going skating and having all you can eat pizza and soda at The River Roll in Riverside. We have team money to help supplement the cost of this field trip... the price is $5.00 per student. Students do not need to bring anything for the field trip... but if they want to bring their own skates they can.
Renaissance Field trip will be on Tuesday, May 21st. Lists of students who qualified for this year end field trip were sent home with permission slips this week.
The new last day of school will be a half day on Friday, May, 31st.
English Language Arts (ELA)
This week we finished reading the novel A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. This novel has two stories that are told in parallel format. The main story is of a young boy, Salva Dut, a Lost Boy from Sudan. His story takes place in 1985 in Southern Sudan. The second story is of a young girl named Nya, it takes place in 2003. Their stories are intertwined and come full circle at the end. Students are about half way through the novel this week.
We were extremely blessed to have Antwan Nicholson, a 2009 graduate of Northtown HS and a relocated Sudanese refugee to the Kansas City area come and talk to both classes on Monday. Students were in awe as he told them about his experiences with Malaria and how his uncle wasn't as lucky to survive (just like Salva.) He also shared with him how he only ever got one meal a day... if he was lucky. I was super impressed with the respectful way our team asked Antwan questions and how well they listened to everything he said. I think we all left that day grateful for the lives that we have here in the USA and the family relationships that we have. Antwan stressed several times that he is grateful for education and for the opportunities that education has given him. It was a good day for all!
Honors ELA: They are working on an independent author study project. They have time in class to work on their project but should be doing their reading at home. They are also reading A Long Walk to Water on their own in class.
Social Studies: World Geography
We have been exploring the sub-topics of water and disease as it relates to to our novel study, A Long Walk to Water. Students have been researching the Global Water Crisis and the need for clean accessible water for everyone. Students designed informative posters about the water crisis and were able to create graphs and charts to visually show the dramatic statistics about water. Students have also studied the refugee problem in Sudan and have watched interviews of Sudanese Lost Boys that were relocated to the Kansas City area. Students have been able to make connections with the main character Salva Dut and our guest speaker and are beginning to realize that even though they live in "different villages" they have similar needs and dreams as the people in South Sudan. They have taken on the Two Week Water Challenge with great excitement!