Monday, November 22, 2010

Riverdale High School- Wow! Lots of great ideas!

H2O for Life received a wonderful letter from Ms. Laurie LePore and her students at Riverdale High School.  The students have completed many wonderful activities to raise awareness about the water crisis, study the issues, and they have taken ACTION to bring water to schools in need around the world.  Take a look at the great ideas, and the inspirational learning that has taken place at their school.  Congratulations to Riverdale High School for 3 years of fantastic service learning with H2O for Life.

Riverdale High School

Portland, Oregon
FALL 2010

Riverdale’s connection to H2O for Life began in September of 2008 as a science and service learning elective called H2O. The 12-week course included studying a wide range of student-generated water-related topics and raising money to benefit a school in Kenya in need of a clean, constant water supply. Riverdale continued the elective class in 2010 and the money fundraised will benefit Ruhaama Primary School in Uganda.

H2O 2010

Portland Fountain Walk

Field Trip

Our Fundraisers:

“Aqua Palooza” Halloween Dance- The H2O class had a “Dance Committee” that met every week to plan the dance,“Aqua Palooza.” Since the dance was close to Halloween, the committee opted to make the theme Halloween and to encourage Halloween costumes. The committee was able to plan a very successful dance while coming in under budget and raising over $2,100 towards the goal of $5,000. Many people in the Riverdale student body attended the dance in costume to support Ruhaama P.S. Student Scott Hall donated his time to DJ the event.

Microbe Sale- The “Microbe Committee” advertised and sold Plush Microbes to parents, teachers, and students. Sales of waterborne pathogens included giardia and Vibrio cholerae. These stuffed microbes have become a popular item to have and collect, and they made great gifts.

“Krispy Delivery”- The Krispy Kreme Committee sold Krispy doughnuts on two occasions for an impressive profit. The doughnuts sale was a huge success at parent-teacher conferences. After learning about the cause, many parents purchased the “Krispy-Kreme-o-grams” to send to their children in class. This treat and a note of good luck was sold during finals week to be sent from student to student.

H2O for Life Shirts- The “T-Shirt Committee” sold H2O for Life T-shirts and sweatshirts. Students and teachers purchased the shirts before school, at lunch, and after school. Parents were able to purchase a t-shirt or two at school functions. Along with the H2O for Life logo on the front, our shirts are personalized on the back with “Riverdale High School, Portland, Oregon” and the four schools we have supported:

Viragoni Nursery School, Kenya 2008

Kabuling Day Care Center, Phillipines 2009

Kyentama Primary School, Uganda 2010

Ruhaama Primary School, Uganda 2010

Our Field Trips:

Portland Fountain Walk- Students took a field trip to downtown Portland to explore numerous fountains while logging in approximately 5 miles. Each of the 12 fountains we visited had a rich history involving their functionality to the City of Portland and an intriguing artistic design. While downtown we also saw THE DEEP SEA IMAX at OMSI and ate lunch at one of the food cart parking lots.

Bull Run Reservoir- The Portland Water Bureau led our class on an exclusive private tour of Portland’s main water source, Bull Run Reservoir. Students were thrilled to be invited inside of the humongous dam that holds back our city’s water supply. We pulled water samples and ran some of the water quality tests that people at Bull Run Reservoir run multiple times everyday to ensure Portland has a clean and constant water supply.

Our Class:
Water Projects- Each student chose a water related topic to research. Students were responsible for planning and presenting their findings to the class in an informative and creative way. Students took a diverse approach using different educational strategies including activities and games. These student-led lessons often included PowerPoint presentations, articles in the news, debates, art projects, and labs. Topics included hypoxia, blue holes, fishing practices, bottled water, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Students were encouraged to look at the topic of water from a biological, chemical, economical, and ecological perspective.

FLOW- The class watched the documentary For the Love Of Water (FLOW). The film explores the question, “Should people, corporations, or governments own water resources?” It focuses on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water group.

Our Pen Pals:

Each student wrote a letter and sent pictures to pen pals at Ruhaama Primary School. We introduced ourselves and described our personal lives, Riverdale High School, and the geography of Portland, Oregon. Riverdale students will soon receive letters from students at Ruhaama. Many students plan on maintaining a pen pal relationship with their new friends in Uganda.

Our School:
Riverdale High School is located in South West Portland. In the 2010-2011 school year, Riverdale High School has a student body of 230 in grades 9 through 12. The mission statement of Riverdale High School is to “Teach students to be thoughtful in their education, about each other, and for their community.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Skype with Alexandra the "Explorer"

Alexandra Cousteau has been covering the country in search of great stories about WATER.  As a National Geographic sponsored tour, Blue Legacy has spent the last 5 months, visiting interesting water sources, environmental areas of concern and has interviewed, filmed and searched for great water stories.  One of their stories was "H2O for Life".  As a follow-up activity, Ms. Cousteau is conducting several SKYPE calls with H2O for Life Schools around the country.  Sedgwick Middle School will be on the call on November 15th.  We hope to receive photos and an update from Sedgwick after the call to share with all of you.
Remember, every penny raised by H2O for Life Schools helps bring water, sanitation and hygiene education to students in need around the world.  A drop in the bucket creates a ripple AND a wave!  If you haven't chosen a partner school for this year, visit our partner school list and choose today.  We need your help to change lives around the world by providing a "basic human right"- WATER.

Read the note below from  a teacher at Sedgwick.
Hi everyone,

Due to the overwhelming success of Student CAST’s water fundraiser, and the students’ innovative approach to raising awareness, H2O For Life Schools (, has recommended our students to participate in a very special event. On Monday, November 15, Student CAST members from Sedgwick and Conard will take part in an online discussion with Alexandra Cousteau, Founder and President of Blue Legacy International (, and grand-daughter of legendary diver Jacques-Yves Cousteau. The online meeting between Ms. Cousteau and the students will focus on water scarcity, environmental challenges, research into solutions, and how to be an effective advocate for environmental causes.

The students’10-day campaign brought in nearly $2,400 and, combined with money from Sedgwick’s own fundraiser, helped to build rainwater collection tanks, latrines, and fund hygiene lessons for the children at the Cheleget Primary School. Attached is a picture of the 60’ poster the kids constructed in the cafeteria and of the rainwater collection tank that has been built with the money they helped raise.

The online interview, via SKYPE, will take place on Monday, November 15 from 3:30-4:30 in Room 216.