Last week Superintendent Ned Kirsch was an invited panel speaker for the first celebration event for the International Day of Education for Global Citizenship sponsored by The Mission of the Republic of Korea and the State of Qatar to the United Nations. Superintendent Kirsch was the only PreK-12 educator in the United States that formally participated in the event.
Other speakers included Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Professor of Economics and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network; Mr. Matthew Hodes, Director of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations; Dr. Eunhee Jung, CEO of IVECA; Ms. Marie Paule Roudil, Director and UNESCO Representative; UN Ambassador from the Republic of Korea Chull-joo Park; and Charges d’Affairs, Abdulrahman Al Hamadi from Qatar.
Superintendent Kirsch was invited to speak about how FWSU has been engaging schools throughout the globe both personally and virtually as a regular part of learning. In addition, he spoke to the initiative that brought the UN Sustainable Development Goals to FWSU. Last year students and teachers in each of our schools engaged in projects that addressed the goals. While other speakers were talking about what could be, Superintendent Kirsch was able to illustrate how students currently can and do engage with the goals.
The United Nations developed the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to transform our world in 2015. Since then, 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda titled Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs cover critical social and economic development issues such as poverty, hunger, health, education, global warming, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice.
After the presentations, the assembled guests were treated to celebratory musical performances by performers from across the globe. Pianist David Jeong, The UN Jazz Society Band, and Girls Be Heard were just a few of the featured performers.
This year FWSU students will continue their work engaging students around the globe, working to find solutions and answers to issues that affect us all and building inter-cultural competence to increase their understanding. This summer, student ambassadors at BFA Fairfax High School and their families are hosting 30 students from China in our annual summer cultural/language immersion camp and many of the ambassadors will also be visiting China this fall to continue their learning. Work is also underway to incorporate the SDGs across all areas of the curriculum to drive real-world learning and relevance for our students. Students in our elementary schools will again engage virtually through our work with IVECA. Finally, Superintendent Ned Kirsch will continue sharing the work of our students as an invited participant at the annual WISE Conference, part of Global Goals Week, this fall in New York City.