“Will the patrons yield to a series of questions, and I reserve my right to speak afterwards?” could be heard from seventeen PDS 6th graders in the recent YMCA Middle School Model United Nations Conference on Thursday, December 1, 2011. This one-day event held in the City Hall Chambers was a hands-on experience for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students involving international politics and issues promoting world peace. Being given the opportunity to develop leadership and speaking skills while debating under the rules of parliamentary procedure was only a part of the process. The YMCA Youth in Government strives to instill caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility in this unique educational program.
The eight Model UN teams representing PDS were Chad—Smith Duncan/Christopher Kerkhof, Democratic Republic of Congo—Austin Hamilton/Zachary Street/Bobby Wade, Eritrea—Greerson McMullen/Will Huffman, Kenya—Bradley Kerkhof/Barry Klug, Nicaragua—Jason Wang/Luke Johnston, Philippines—Wyatt Berry/Joe Carter, Singapore—Spence Escue/Rucker Wilkinson, and Somalia—Jackson Bridgforth/Stan Smythe.
All of these 6th grade boys let it be known they were more than capable of holding their own in a debate with older students. As the boys took on the role of member delegates, they learned to respectfully agree to disagree in a diverse world. Each team was challenged by the research process, the debate process, and writing a formal resolution to present in Committee and before the General Assembly.
Our PDS boys were articulate, knowledgeable, and confident throughout the all-day conference. Congratulations are in order to the PDS boys for maintaining such a high standard for future Model UN teams!
Cynthia Cross There are 9 angels remaining on the Angel Tree in the PDS Elementary division Main Lobby. Please adopt an angel. If you have questiosns, please contact PDS parent and Berclair chair, Korie Lorrits at 901-270-3941. The angels need adopting by December 9.
Wednesday morning the Early Childhood boys had a special guest in chapel, Ekpe Abioto (pronounced “eck-pay), a “musical philanthropist” and artistic director specializing in children’s music and cultural entertainment.
Ekpe brought the magic of Christmas in Africa through African music and percussion to our EC boys during their Wednesday morning chapel. The boys were very attentive and responded enthusiastically to the interactive presentation.
Ekpe is a musician, producer, recording artist, songwriter and arts educator and he plays African instruments (djimbe drum, kalimba (thumb piano), shakere, and others), flute and saxophone. The boys loved seeing all the different instruments.
We are grateful to Cindi Younkers, director of the Buckman Performing and Fine Arts Center at St. Mary’s and mother of Davis (PK) for bringing Ekpe to EC Chapel.