World leaders: U.N. #039;delegates#039; visit Ironton

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 20, 2004

They came from as far away as Japan and Peru to make impassioned pleas to their fellow countries, all the while wearing traditional dress of kimonos and ponchos.

Delegates gathered Friday for the annual Lawrence County Model United Nations at Ohio University Southern. Approximately 75 gifted seventh and eighth grade students from Chesapeake, Fairland, Rock Hill and South Point middle schools participated in the event.

"They love doing this. One of my students told me they couldn't sleep last night," said Suzanne Wilson, a teacher at Fairland Middle and one of the judges for the event. "They really get into to it. … It gives them a more worldwide view, beyond what they experience here every day. That's why I like it so much."

Email newsletter signup

Dedication to detail was the top order of business for the delegates. They were required to research their respective countries, write reports and develop a resolution to present for review by the General Assembly.

In addition, students wore costumes and made flags to display as they debated the issues put before them. Awards for Outstanding Resolution, Outstanding Delegate and Outstanding Country were later awarded.

"I learned a lot about all the different countries and I got to experience different cultures and their customs," Holly Wilson said.

Holly, one of Ms. Wilson's students from Fairland Middle, represented Peru. She said she was somewhat familiar with the country going into the process, but now she had a greater understanding and appreciation for its people.

Later, she was named one of 10 Outstanding Delegates. Her group also won for Outstanding Resolution as well as Outstanding Country.

Chesapeake students Miranda Pemberton and Casey Kirk were a little less familiar with their chosen country prior to this experience. Just what did they know about Zambia before researching it?

"Nothing," they said in unison, their faces as bright as their traditional African garb.

Miranda added, "But we definitely learned a lot about the world around us."

For her efforts on behalf of the country roughly the size of Texas, Casey was named an Outstanding Delegate, along with fellow student Tony Brumfield. Zambia was recognized as one of the Outstanding Countries as well.

In all, delegates represented Bhutan, Brazil, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, the Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Peru, Switzerland, Zaire and Zambia.

Gina Martin of South Point came out to see her son Ethan's group participate. She said she thought Japan made an impact as they marched in with traditional kimonos and passion for their country.

"I think it's a really great experience and it's good that they work together as a team," she said.

The Lawrence County Model U.N. began in 1986 at Rock Hill Middle School thanks to John Miller, an adviser at OUS. Since then, it has become a yearly event, bringing area students together.

Although countries didn't always see eye-to-eye, delegates nonetheless had a tremendous opportunity to get insight into the workings of the U.N.

At the end of the day, they settled their differences over pizza and snacks.

"It went really well," said Linda Dickess, gifted coordinator for the Lawrence County Board of Education. "It's a great tool and it's sort of a fun and sneaky way to get them interested in learning."


Outstanding Delegates:

B.J. Winters (Bhutan) and Megan Crabtree (Zaire) from South Point.

C.J. Vaughn (Brazil), Casey Kirk and Tony Brumfield (Zambia) from Chesapeake.

Jazel DeAutremont (Egypt), Brooke Bowman (Luxemobourg), Sarah Bond (Switzerland) from Rock Hill.

Rachel Mach (Ireland) and Holly Wilson (Peru) from Fairland.

Outstanding Resolution:

Bhustan (South Point), Brazil (Chesapeake), Egypt (Rock Hill) and Peru (Fairland).

Outstanding Country:

Japan (South Point), Peru (Fairland), Switzerland (Rock Hill) and Zambia (Chesapeake).