Riverdale High School
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.
Portland Fountain Walk
“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.
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.
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.”