Students Connect with Sudanese Refugee

Students Connect with Sudanese Refugee
Seventh-grade students at Ronkonkoma Middle School enrolled in Heidi Edmonds’ and Jennifer Pluth’s English classes recently communicated with South Sudanese “Lost Boy” Daniel Pach, one of three subjects of the 2006 documentary “God Grew Tired of Us.”

As they had recently completed reading Linda Sue Park's novel “A Long Walk to Water” and viewed the documentary, the students were inspired to learn more about the Sudanese culture, the effects of the country’s civil war and the ongoing issues dealing with lack of healthcare and clean water in South Sudan. It was this strong desire to learn more about the subject that inspired them to connect with Mr. Pach via a videoconference.
    
During their conversation, Mr. Pach spoke candidly about his transition to American culture and the struggles of growing up during the Sudanese Civil War.

“My life experiences have made me strong,” Mr. Pach told the students. “I am now more strong, more calm and more knowledgeable because of my experience. When I first came to America, I had nothing – but now I have clothes, a job, and am able to go to school to learn more English.”