||Students learn about the life of Nelson Mandela
VERONA, Miss. (WTVA) — The news of Nelson Mandela's passing made headlines all over the world.
Mandela impacted the lives of many in Mississippi, including the students in Shalon Ruth's 3rd grade class at Verona Elementary School.
These students have learned a lot about Mandela over the past couple of weeks, but Ruth said they didn't know too much about him until she started teaching lessons about him a couple weeks ago.
"Out of my 20 students, I probably had two that were aware of him," Ruth said.
The students said this is because they were just too young to know.
"I've heard about him, but I didn't know what he did or anything like that," student Kitty Derrick said.
In her lesson, Ruth had the students compare Mandela to President Obama to help them better understand his impact as president of South Africa.
"They didn't really have a concept of him and the struggles and everything that he had done for his people in South Africa," Ruth said.
But after the lesson, she said, the students found Mandela's life to be interesting because it is so different than what they know.
"Because that's something most people don't have to deal with anymore because it's not a big problem now," Derrick said.
Ruth said her students now know him as a leader.
"A symbol of freedom," Ruth said. "A symbol of peace and just a wealth of knowledge for everybody. Not just African Americans but, I think, everybody."
She also said her class can now see how Mandela changed their lives even without ever meeting him.