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Middle School Students Look for the Helpers

Middle School students in Randy Rosen and Jenny Denman’s Grade 7 English classes just wrapped up their Refugee Research project themed around “Finding the Helpers.” Students read Alan Gratz’s historical fiction novel entitled “Refugee,” which featured the very real plight of three fictional main characters from three different eras: Nazi Germany, 1990s Cuba, and modern-day Syria. After reading the book, students were tasked with researching the “helper” organizations that offer assistance and resources for immigrants. They then worked in groups to create trifold presentations that included information about the organization they chose, its history, their reason for choosing it, and how to help that organization. Groups chose relief organizations ranging from local places, such as New Paltz for Refugees, to international organizations like Unicef, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, and more. 

Where are the helpers refugee project

Once the project was complete, the classes visited each other’s presentations with a grading sheet and rubric to gauge each other’s work, and look deeply at each project’s content. One student said the book was “very eye opening” to what exists outside of New Paltz, with several students nodding in agreement. Another student, who identified herself as an immigrant, said the project was especially meaningful to her because she did not know so much help was available for her family, and appreciated exploring issues she personally experienced through an American vantage point. 

#FindTheHelpers #NewPaltzMiddleSchoolStudentsCare #MaroonPride