Readington Middle School had its largest turnout yet for the YMCA Model UN II weekend in Hershey, Pennsylvania. After months of preparing with Len Yacullo from the Hunterdon County YMCA and their enrichment teacher Emily Bengels during lunch periods, eighteen students donned suits and smiles to join their classmates from JP Case on a weekend to remember.
The conference involves three simulations. First, students took part as “Delegates” in a General Assembly where they discussed such issues as Nuclear Proliferation, Racial and Ethnic Discrimination, and Internet Access and Stability. They represented countries such as Germany, Sweden, Angola, Fiji, Mexico and more. Next, students took part in an International Criminal Court where they had to prosecute Leopold II of Belgium, Saddam Hussein or William Casey. Finally, they were given the challenge of Peacemaking and Nationbuilding after the Croatian War.
“It was exciting to see students step out of their comfort zone and demonstrate great poise in an intellectual, diplomatic setting,” Bengels said. This was her first experience working in collaboration with the YMCA. Several Readington students from prior years recommended the collaboration based on their excitement for the Model UN and their hope that students could work on their position papers during the school day.