High Schools Come Together for Darfur Awareness Walk
June 10 was an important day in the history of the Sewanhaka Central High School District. On that day, students from all five schools came together for the Darfur Awareness Walk. The event marked the culmination of several weeks of preparation and student activities in the five high schools in the district, including Floral Park, H. Frank Carey, New Hyde Park, Sewanhaka High School and Elmont Memorial. During the two weeks before the walk, students were busy preparing showcases and bulletin boards displaying information about Darfur, selling T-shirts and wristbands and making PowerPoint presentations in Social Studies classes to increase awareness about the genocide taking place in Darfur. The world seemed unconcerned about the continuing ethnic conflict in this western part of the Sudan that has led to thousands of deaths and millions of displaced people living in refugee camps in surrounding African countries. As awareness increased, students quickly became involved in the project. According to Thomas Galvin, the Social Studies chairperson at New Hyde Park, "Momentum was so high that the T-shirts were sold out on the first day they were received." The awareness walk, which started at 8:30 a.m. from Sewanhaka High School and ended after a three-mile walk to Elmont Memorial High School, attracted students from the five schools, staff members, as well as members from the board of education and central administration. According to Kathleen Gulbin, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instructions, "to see hundreds of high school students early on a Saturday morning marching and chanting to raise awareness of an atrocity half a world away inspired awe, to say the least. This was the quintessential social studies lesson."
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