WEST WINDSOR — Five eighth-graders from Thomas Grover Middle School gazed with wonder as Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, deputy director of communications for the United Nations Development Program, showed them the view outside his office window of the towering U. The eighth-graders said they had fun working on the project, but it also made them realize how much they take for granted every day.
The students never left their school on Southfield Road; rather, they had a video chat with Ghandour, telling him their ideas to improve sanitation in Nepal with a pilot project of new latrines and education in a small village, which if successful they would expand further in the South Asian country. They had been selected from the district’s 800 eighth-graders, who had all participated in an annual year-end assessment.
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Debbie Kline, a social studies teacher at Community Middle School, said both the district and the students benefit from the assessment. “These are not simple problems, but these kids take their stab at it and they become really passionate about it.
They rise up to the occasion.” This year the students had three options: They either proposed solutions to meet the U.