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Seventh-graders from QHS Teacher Suzanne Stirling’s class learn about hardships in the life of Sudanese people by studying about “The Lost Boys of Sudan” and practicing hauling water one-half mile along Quincy’s bike path. Photos by Nina Martynn

Quincy students learn about poverty and life from a Sudanese viewpoint

Suzanne Stirling’s seventh-grade class at Quincy Junior-Senior High School is currently learning about tribal life in South Sudan with its ongoing civil war and conflict between the Dinka and Nuer tribes.

As part of their study of the novel “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Parks, they have watched the powerful movie “The Lost Boys of the Sudan.”

In addition, the class is studying the effects of poverty and polluted water on global health, as well as issues related to access to education.

To try to make these concepts more relevant to the class, Stirling had her students attempt to carry 35-pound buckets of water one-half mile down the bike path, near Quincy High School. The experience mirrored what daily life is like for the Sudanese.

“The lesson objective of the field trip was to bring the novel more to life for the students, who have a difficult time understanding not going to school, let alone being forced to carry water from a remote, polluted source, back to their homes for basic necessities,” Stirling said.

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