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Inwood Students Show Uptown Culture to United Nations Student Delegation

By Nigel Chiwaya | September 26, 2013 10:35am
  Students at the Inwood Academy charter school hosted a United Nations children's delegation Wednesday.
Inwood Academy Students meet UN Children's Delegation
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INWOOD — Students at an uptown charter school were given the chance to learn about cultures on the other side of the world on Wednesday, when they hosted a delegation of international students from the United Nations.

Middle schoolers at the Inwood Academy for Leadership invited seven children from Albania, Brazil, Bangladesh, Mexico, Sierra Leone and Uganda on a half-day visit to the charter school.

The delegation, which spoke at a United Nations side event on Tuesday, got to know the upper Manhattan students through icebreakers and question-and-answer sessions.

The visitors said they were amazed by the Cooper Street school building.

"The classrooms are really beautiful and colorful, and big" said Erisjena, a 17-year-old from Albania. "In my country you'll see four children sharing two chairs."

IAL students, who traded stories about their role models and living situations with their overseas counterparts, were excited to to show off their school and culture. The groups feasted on Dominican food for lunch.

"Our environment and culture here is Washington Heights and we're trying to bring some of that culture to them," said Briana Santos, 13.

The schedule was planned entirely by the Inwood students, said IAL student leadership coordinator Denise Hykes. 

"We figured, let's empower the student council," Hykes said. "They came up with the whole program that we wanted to do today."

World Vision rep Corina Villacorta made the visit possible through a partnership with the charter school's board member Rahsaan Graham.

"They've never been to school in America, so they're really eager to learn and talk to the children at this school," said Villacorta.