Chicago students spread refugee awareness ahead of WE Day

CHICAGO (WLS) -- WE Day is a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities.

Next week, kids from all over the state will be treated to a live concert. Students earn their tickets to the big show with their community service.

Young people are using spoken word to make a big impact at a school on Chicago's South Side. Students at Excel Academy of South Shore are writing poems to raise awareness about the refugee crisis around the world.

"We were reading "I am Malala" and "Never Fall Down.' Talking about refugees became really important to everybody and they said, this is something that we have to work on. How can we spread awareness?" said Colleen Bell, English teacher at Excel Academy.

Students in Ms. Bell's English class say what they've learned so far has made them appreciate what they have.

"It's refugees that don't have nobody, lost their whole family in a war. It's a war out here, but it's not really that type of war, we're not forced to do anything. They are forced to fight at 7 and 6 years old, losing their families," said Tyanna Haynes, a senior.

"It kind of makes me feel like we aren't appreciative enough. We take things for granted, especially knowing what they went through and how hard it was for them especially going through that at a young age," said Marlow Rainey, a senior.

It's a new appreciation and excitement to share their hard work.

"I'm happy that we get to be at WE Day, we get to show people that we actually doing something here, we actually learning something, we're actually growing from something here," Haynes said.

The big WE Day show is March 1. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Actress Shay Mitchell and Rapper Xzibit are just a few of the stars that will be taking part.
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