The seventh and eighth grade class of Edgecomb’s Center for Teaching and Learning spent three days at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham, as participants in Maine’s Model United Nations Conference (MeMUNC). The students researched and represented the countries of Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, Cuba, Ethiopia, France, India, Iran, Japan, the Netherlands, Palestine, South Korea, South Sudan, the United Kingdom and Yemen.
The students served in the fourth-ever Middle School General Assembly as one of three middle schools participating in the conference otherwise geared toward high school students. CTL kids started preparing for MeMUNC in February, as part of the school’s current events program. They worked with their history teacher, Anne Merkel.
They learned UN rules of procedure, practiced debating and negotiating, conducted research about their assigned countries, and prepared position papers about their countries’ stances on the issues of the right to adequate housing and the cultural integration of refugees.
Of the approximately 500 students in attendance at MeMUNC, most of them high-schoolers, about two dozen received awards at the closing ceremonies — including six CTL students. Graham Harris, Zoe Ruff, and Katie Sanborn were recognized with Honorable Mentions. Ella Beauregard and Anna Kelly won Distinguished Delegate Awards, and Emma Collins received the committee’s top honor, the Diplomacy Award.
This is the sixth year CTL students have participated in MeMUNC; the school’s seventh and eighth graders were the first-ever middle school students to take part in the conference, now in its nineteenth year. The students were thrilled to participate in this invaluable opportunity to act as global citizens, hone their debate and negotiation skills, and gain insight into what it takes to achieve consensus, make progress, and drive political and social change.