Aug 13, 2013

Summer Program Encourages Students to Explore Global Issues

Students tour the New York Times news room.
Students tour the New York Times news room.

On behalf of the Global Kids youth leaders and staff, we would like to thank you for supporting Global Kids’ U.S. in the World: International Law and Foreign Policy Program. Global Kids has been conducting this program in collaboration with the Council on Foreign Relations since 2005.

Thanks to your support, 25 high school students joined Global Kids for three weeks this summer to explore critical foreign policy issues through workshops, field trips, and roundtable discussions. Students had the opportunity to hear from renowned experts in the field of international affairs, including ABC News Correspondent George Stephanopoulos, Former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Robert Rubin, and Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass. The group also visited the United Nations, the New York Times, Adelphi University, and the headquarters of Amnesty International. This fall, they will use what they learned to implement peer education projects at their schools on foreign policy topics.

Year after year, we see how transformative this program is.  So many of the program participants have gone on to pursue higher education and careers in international affairs as a result of this unique experience. We are deeply grateful for your support and we hope you will continue to look to us as partners in your efforts to provide engaging educational opportunities for young people.

George Stephanopoulos engages students in debate.
George Stephanopoulos engages students in debate.
Aug 9, 2013

Global Kids Trains Next Generation of Game Designers!

On behalf of the Global Kids youth leaders and staff, we would like to thank you for supporting Global Kids’ Playing for Keeps summer program. The program was exhilarating and your support helped make it a huge success. Our students were extremely proud to demonstrate the video games that they created and to show off their knowledge of environmental issues. 

Approximately 20 youth took part in this year’s Playing for Keeps program. Students used MIT's open source video game design software, Scratch, to program and design games about environmental issues.  The program was offered in two sessions, one for middle school students and one for high school students. Each program offered a varied array of hands-on activities that exposed students to the principles of game design. 

On the first day of the program, the students learned to name the core elements of a game by identifying those elements in classic games such as Rock, Paper, Scissors. They chose specific elements of a game that they wanted to change, and noticed how their decisions affected game play. Next, they used objects they found in their homes to create board games, integrating what they learned about strong game design. The group spoke about socially conscious games before breaking into groups based on the environmental issue they were most interested in raising awareness about. When it came time to program their games, many of the groups elected to assign tasks to individual students such as script writing, art design, coding, and playtesting. They forged new friendships and at the end of the week, they beamed with pride as they presented their games back to the group.

At Global Kids, we will continue to find ways to deepen and further the learning that began in the Playing for Keeps summer program. We will continue to provide young people the space to take action via digital media. We hope you will continue to support the work of our youth and will look to us as partners in your efforts to provide engaging educational opportunities for young people.

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Jul 29, 2013

Youth Conference Tackles Violence & Peacebuilding

On behalf of the Global Kids youth leaders and staff, we would like to thank you for supporting Global Kids Annual Youth Conference on Violence and Peacebuilding. The event was amazing and your support helped make it a huge success. Our students were extremely proud to demonstrate what they have learned and to show off their talents on stage and in the workshops. 

Over 500 young people and 100 educators joined us at Baruch College on April 12th for the Annual Youth Conference. In light of the recent mass shootings in this country, the increasing incidents of rape in India, and the debate over the use of drones, the youth committee chose Violence and Peace Building as the theme of the 2013 Conference. Students emceed, performed, and facilitated interactive workshops on topic such as refugees, hate crimes, child soldiers, and bullying at the event. 

At Global Kids, we will continue to find ways to deepen and further the conversations that began at the conference, as well as provide young people the space to take action and make the changes they want to see in their communities and in the world. We hope you will continue to support the work of our youth and will look to us as partners in your efforts to provide engaging educational opportunities for young people.

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