- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Lincoln High School student and teacher have teamed up to start a club to connect students with one another and help refugees across the world.

The Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1pZEzA7 ) reports that the club, called Fork in the Road, draws students from two groups: the International Baccalaureate program and the English Language Learner program.

Senior Elizabeth Yost and teacher Christ Maly formed the club after attending the Aspen Ideas Festival, which brings together the country’s foremost thinkers to share ideas. The two were among 30 students and educators invited to the festival through the Bezos Scholar Program.

“We were given a week to think about how important ideas are and how they can create, and more importantly, how they can impact change and affect humanity,” Maly said.

The club plans to host its own weeklong festival at the end of April that will facilitate conversations between the students. During an activity called “Links on the Green,” students will talk with somebody they don’t know, take a photo with them and post the image on social media.

Students will also make pinwheels to send to refugee camp classrooms in Lebanon and Iraq. A program through the Bezos Foundation, called Students Rebuild, will donate $2 per pinwheel to train teachers working in the camps.

Yost said many of the English Language Learner program students came from refugee camps, making the focus of the festival particularly relevant. The festival will also include a panel discussion about refugees fleeing conflict as well as an event featuring films and stories by the club’s members.

Yost said she she’s a lot of promise in the upcoming festival.

“Just knowing people were excited about it meant a lot,” she said. “To see other students be excited for something I’d poured so much of myself into has been really incredible.”

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com


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