West Central Valley Middle School Students Study and Write About Conflict in Syria

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REDFIELD, Iowa -- "You feel bad that you`re perfectly fine here in America, when there are people in Syria who are pretty much trying to survive everyday," said 8th Grade WCV Middle School Student Bodhi Mains.

"We`re like so lucky because we`re born in this country that`s like perfectly fine. We have like no problems and...we`re protected and our military does it all for us," said 8th Grade WCV Middle School Student Kiefer Wallace.

"We have bad things in our country, but over there, there`s way worse things happening," said 8th Grade WCV Middle School Student Drew Taylor.

Language Arts Teacher Hanna Wilson had her students write about the Syrian conflict for an assignment. Some of that writing was even published in a local newspaper. "Both my parents are teachers and they taught in rural Iowa and when I was growing up, I don`t know that I had that big of a world view. I never left the country until I went to college and as a teacher, that kind of became a lot of who I wanted to be as an educator. I wanted to bring whatever is happening worldwide to my students," said Wilson.

And even though the students are far removed from the violence taking place overseas, the teenagers say they've been watching conflict unfold in one way or another since 9/11. "...We see it all the time. I mean our generation has grown up with it for our whole lives, so we`re kind of like numb to war maybe in a sense, but at the same time, that`s how we`re able to relate to it more," said 8th Grade WCV Middle School Student Emma Johnson.

In addition to looking at governmental and news organizations, the students also turned to non profits such as preemptive love coalition, to get a well rounded view. "On the news, we don`t really get to see a lot, like sometimes they`ll just show the worst of it or sometimes they`ll just show the best of it, so to actually see an organization that`s on the ground and helping, you get what`s really happening instead of just what people want you to see," said 8th Grade WCV Middle School Student Mikayla Hanner.

"I knew that bad things were happening, but I hadn`t realized that it was that bad," said 8th Grade WCV Middle School Student Rylee Krantze.

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