With a $100,000 grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation‘s Annette Roberts and Joan Robertson Fund, eight Milwaukee Public Schools will incorporate a new, United Nations-backed curriculum this school year.
The curriculum, referred to as the United Nations Schools of International Learning, incorporates world studies and model United Nations material for elementary and middle school students.
The eight MPS schools that will use the new curriculum are Bethune Academy, Burbank School, Garland School, Humboldt Park School, Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language, Parkview School, Story School and Zablocki School. Victory Elementary School has already phased in aspects of the curriculum.
The program is designed to teach students how to research, write and present on world affairs and current events as well as expose them to different cultures and the intricacies of international relationships.
“It is so important for people to know what the United Nations is doing and the viability of the United Nations in its better capacity to achieve peace in the world,” said Joan Robertson, a member of the United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee who partnered with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to establish a fund to pay for the curriculum change. “The mechanism is there. I’m thrilled with MPS for taking this on, and I hope it is successful and grows.”
In its first year, the program will introduce students at participating schools to global studies content and research projects at the fourth- and sixth-grade levels. A World Fair event will also be held to showcase student research projects. The program will be expanded to other grade levels over the next few years, including a Model UN project for seventh graders and a conference to be held in partnership with local colleges and universities.
“Milwaukee Public Schools serves students from very diverse backgrounds including nationality, language and culture; these students are also often English Language Learners and/or refugees,” said Dr. Darienne Driver, superintendent of schools in a statement released Thursday. “MPS is proud to lead this new district initiative. The MPS United Nations Schools of International Learning will benefit the next generation of our community as they learn about the world and all it has to offer, beginning with learning about the United Nations.”