ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Frost starts Model UN club

Nitya Kumar
managing editor

For the first time, Robert Frost Middle School has an official Model United Nations Club. It is sponsored by this school’s own successful Model United Nations Club.

Junior Vice President Joel Shapiro is a Co-Head Ambassador with sophomore Junior Officer Abbey Damonte, and both the students created this club. “Basically I coordinate with Mrs. Avila-Miller at Frost to take the Frost kids to Model UN conferences and teach them how to debate effectively as well,” Shapiro said. “Over the last school year and the summer, I was coordinating with Mrs. Avila-Miller at Frost to determine meeting days, conferences we will take the middle schoolers to, and how best to teach them. We have a lot of plans for the MUN club at Frost so far. We will have them practice with mock debates about world issues, and we will be bringing them to conferences hosted at schools such Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, and Gar-Field. We will not have a large emphasis on competition in the middle school club, but we hope the skills they refine will help them become competitive delegates once they join Wootton MUN.”

Damonte helped start up this club because she sees a great purpose in having students learn about Model United Nations earlier in middle school. “The purpose of Frost MUN is to expose the students to Model UN early so that they can come into WHS MUN with previous knowledge of what Model UN is and how conferences run. A middle school MUN club will help students gain experience at conferences and improve their skills so that they enter high school MUN at a high level. The middle school MUN club works on speaking skills, tactics to become a good delegate, research skills, and essentially the basics of how a conference works at each meeting. We plan on having them attend a conference with middle school committees this year so that they can practice these skills outside of the meetings,” Damonte said.

Senior Secretary General Shaily Acharya supports this club and believes that the middle school Model United Nations team would be a great opportunity for both middle schoolers and high schoolers. “There are a lot of opportunities for middle school MUN teams to compete in the DMV,” Acharya said. “These conferences are designed for both middle school and high school teams. We hope that middle school MUN members learn the skills needed to succeed in competitions and can apply them when they join the Wootton team. This will make the Wootton team even better, as new members will be entering with MUN experience. A lot of great high school MUN teams in this area have middle school MUN teams that they are affiliated with, so this method seems to work.”

The first meeting for the middle school Model United Nations club was Oct. 17, and the popularity of the club was clear. “It’s the largest club at Frost. We have over 70 people signed up,” senior Ritika Naiknavare said.

There is an important upcoming event for the high school club as well. The high school club hosted its own Model United Nations conference here on Oct. 20, with over 250 participants coming from all over D.C., Maryland and Virginia.