Students perform at United Nations

The Farnsworth Middle School choir had a-once-in-a-lifetime experience as it entertained officials and guests with its vocal skills at the United Nations on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Music teacher Terri Mewhorter said the district applied to participate in the United Nations' special events program and was lucky enough to get the opportunity to make the trip to New York City.

We got to sing in the foyer in the U.N., Mewhorter said. "It went very well."

People passed by and heard a medley of patriotic tunes, as well as other songs.

"We emphasized peace," she said of the song selection.

The students also were given the opportunity to get a full tour of the building, including a viewing of the general assembly room, where dignitaries from all over the world discuss pressing issues.

"It was a great tour; the kids learned a lot," Mewhorter said.

Mewhorter said it was a great opportunity to mix education with music, community service and fun.

Laurie Lee, a parent and chaperone on the trip, said her son Alec, a seventh-grader, was thrilled to make the trip.

"He likes to learn what people are trying to do for each other," Lee said.

She said the kids learned about the growing problem of landmines in foreign countries, how to become an ambassador, and how countries address specific problems in the general assembly. She said she was surprised at how many questions the kids had for the tour guides.

The diversity and plurality of the United Nations also impressed the choir group.

"I can't even tell you how many languages we heard just walking through the door," Lee said.

Mewhorter said the trip was a learning experience and a chance to do some good at the same time, and the students came away from the experience with an interest in making a difference. The middle school will be participating in fundraisers to help provide mosquito nets to protect those at risk of malaria in developing countries.

"The kids were really moved by that," she said. "We're going to have a bake sale this year."

In addition to the United Nations' tour, the group got to see the world-famous Rockettes perform at Rockefeller Center.

Mewhorter said she is planning on organizing another trip next year, and hopefully it will not be as hectic as this one, which fell during American Education Week.

Next year she's hoping to get to meet some of the dignitaries who use the building, but there are no guarantees, she said. ""

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