Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hands Across the Water

“We need people who care, people who plan and people who do hard work to make things happen.”
Sister Mary Ann Barnhorst 
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur 
Ohio province

A few years ago, a very cool 6th grade student, Michael Van Dorselaer, was shocked to discover that kids all over the world are dying every day due to lack of clean drinking water. He also learned that a lot of children spend hours each day walking for miles in order to carry water back to their families.
This new knowledge bothered  Michael...he wanted to do something to help. 
He came up with an idea to do a walkathon that would mimic the daily trek that so many kids endure to bring water home. He approached his gym teacher and together they came up with a plan. The students would raise money for clean water by walking four miles, (the average distance from village to water source in the developing world) and they would carry gallons of their own water to see what it was like.
Pretty great idea, right?
Michael's plan took root and grew, not just into a whole school event, but also a global one. And I am extremely proud to have my gang at a school that recognizes and then takes the extra steps in supporting a most excellent idea when they see one. Especially when the person behind the plan is a 6th grader.

 Yesterday, the entire school, both students and faculty participated in a walk to raise money and awareness for the global water crises.
It was really a terrific event for all of the 1,000+ students...the youngest carried ounces of water on a short walk, and the oldest carried gallons of water for miles. Everyone was quite happy to participate. Based on my own personal experience with my own personal darlings, I expected some grumblings from at least a few of the students. But that didn't happen. Instead there were cheers, encouragement and a lot of laughter from the students who recognized and enjoyed that they were all working hard to reach out to families who needed their help.  
Last year the students raised enough money to provide clean water to 11 villages,  and this year they are hoping to expand on those eleven.

Summit students are continuing to collect donations for the safe water project until May 4th. If you happen to be approached by one of my dears or their buddies, please consider making a gift and also feel free to ask them what it was like to carry gallons of water for 4 miles, they will be happy to share their experience with you!
Henry was good natured about posing for a photo during his walk.
Who says a service project can't also be uber fun? 
You go, Miss Mary!
 I noticed that Jamie chose to walk the walk with the third grade ladies... he said that they laughed so hard sometimes, they couldn't walk straight. They do indeed sound like a very fun bunch.
 The youngest students carried their little waters up and down the school driveway. They were happy to have help from the high school kids to keep them on their not so complicated course.
Miss Rose with her buddies getting ready for their water walk.
 The middle school kids competed with the primary school gang in terms of giggling a ton and having a super fabulous time while walking for a great cause. Lilly marched surrounded by and cracking up with her girlfriends as they walked.   
 The gallons of water that the kids walked with was then donated to a local organization.... Mary was happy to load up the truck. 
Did I mention that the kids all had a blast? 
An end of walk salute from a middle schooler...doing good things and having a great time in the process.

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1 comment:

  1. How wonderful! I loved seeing all your kids.