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New Roots Charter School Students Win Trip to D.C.

ITHACA, N.Y. (May 27, 2014) —  After having their passports confiscated, launching missile attacks in enemy territory and being judged by a war tribunal – all in one afternoon – local  students from New Roots Charter School in Ithaca started to look at war and conflict in a completely different way. Through a partnership with the Central New York Region of the American Red Cross, the students participated in the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Action Campaign and showed what they learned through a skit and scavenger hunt.

Now, their efforts are sending them to Washington, D.C.

This year’s IHL Action Campaign focused on child soldiers and international justice, and local students joined their counterparts across the country in creating projects that showcase how people around the world can maintain human dignity in times of conflict. New Roots Charter School’s campaign was selected as one of the best, and the students will compete nationally from June 5-8 at the National IHL Youth Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

“For these students, putting themselves into the shoes of prisoners of war, military leaders and refugees makes them think twice about how people should be treated during conflict,” said Julie Mucilli, Youth and Young Adult Coordinator for the Red Cross Central New York Region. “Students often graduate from the program rethinking what they would like to do after college, and many are looking into careers in humanitarian fields.”

To learn more about the New Roots Charter School campaign, watch this video:

The promotion of human dignity during times of armed conflict – including protections for civilians, wounded and sick combatants, and prisoners of war – is at the cornerstone of IHL and at the heart of the Red Cross mission. The campaign engages youth on these issues, teaching that “even wars have limits.” This is the second year students from New Roots Charter School have participated in this program.

To learn more about the IHL Action Campaign visit For more information about the New Roots Charter School students’ campaign and their trip to Washington, contact Julie Mucilli at or (607) 727-4669.