Seventh grade students at the Fulton Junior High School are exploring the experiences of a world that is much different than their very own.
Through the Expeditionary Learning’s Common Core ELA Curriculum, students read the novel “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park and learned about a world that is on the continent of Africa, in the country of South Sudan, and during a time when children as young as six fled their villages and left their parents to escape war and starvation.
Through the novel and related classroom activities and assignments, the students learned about South Sudan during the Second Sudanese Civil War and how individuals, including the nearly 10,000 “Lost Boys of Sudan,” survived challenging environments.
In conjunction with the novel and classroom activities, former Lost Boy Chol Majok was invited to share some of his personal experience with the students during a recent visit.
Majok talked about the ‘Lost Boys’’ struggles to find food and water.
“We grew up with no parents,” he said. “We were parents and doctors to one another. All we had was one another.”
He talked about the importance of having a strong heart and strength and shared messages about the values of hard work, dedication, and perseverance to achieve goals.
Majok was 16 when he came to the United States. He attended Fowler High School and went on to obtain a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.
He works for Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and shares his story to help others and encourages others to do the same.
“Don’t be afraid to share what you know,” he told the students. “It might help someone go another mile.”