A Global Village: Sixth Grade Immersion Trip to Heifer International

A hallmark of the St. Paul’s Middle School experience is a yearly class trip. Our sixth graders recently returned from three days at Heifer International’s Global Village in Perryville, Arkansas. 

“The trip to Heifer International gives our students a glimpse into situations around the world,” Lisa Jones, 3rd - 8th Grade Division Head, said. “It provides an opportunity for students to develop empathy and understand our responsibility to see those suffering around the world and feed those who are hungry, and provide a drink to those who are thirsty.”

During their trip to Heifer, students learned about population and wealth distribution around the world through Heifer’s Global Village: true-to-life representations of seven homes around the world, including an Appalachian mountain home, an African mud hut, a Guatemalan home, and a refugee camp.

After touring and learning about each area, students participated in a lottery where they were assigned a home for the night, and given limited resources, such as water, firewood, and food. They then spent the evening in their new home, bartering for additional needed resources, collaboratively creating a meal with the others in their village, caring for a (water balloon) child, and more. 

“It’s a very powerful, hands-on experience for the students,” Jones said. “This year, our students endured rain and unusually cool temperatures while sleeping in open areas, which is what millions around the world experience on a daily basis.” 

“At Heifer, I felt like I was in another world,” David, a sixth grade student, said. “It really let me empathize, not just sympathize, with others who are less fortunate than us.” 

We’re thankful for immersive experiences like the Global Village as we seek to develop compassionate, engaged citizens. The trip to Heifer is an experience that students won’t forget!
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