Sunday, April 10, 2011

National Youth Leadership Council-Service Learning conference in Atlanta!

The NYLC service learning conference is always a magnificent event.  This year was no exception. The conference was hosted by the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, GA.  The forum hosted great speakers, interesting service opportunities in the Atlanta area, and a varied exhibit hall.

H2O for Life lead several presentations as well as an exhibition booth and a photo display at the event.  We had student speakers from Abington High School, PA, Quaker Valley Middle School, PA and Heber Hunt School.  We also met many other H2O for Life schools that were attending the event from Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Jersey, California, Texas, Missouri and other states as well. 

Youth Service America was also attending the event- don't forget to register your service project on their website if you are doing anything between April 15-17th.  The numbers should soar past one million participants once again this year.

Mary Rodgers and her students from Abington High School gave a wonderful presentation about their continuing work with H2O for Life.  They have partnered with schools for the past 4 years.  Imagine the impact their efforts have made on the water world.  Several of the students are serious about planning and starting a water college for training in developing countries.  We love their enthusiasm and their creativity and hard work to pursue this amazing idea.  We do believe that the youth of today will change the world.

We also had the opportunity to work closely with Mr. Brian Wolovich and his band of 12 sixth graders- and Karen- the wonderful librarian that was brave enough to come along and help!  These young people had a lot of energy, and were always well behaved, and ready to go.  They  took part in a presentation that was attended by over 60 people. Each student had a role in the presentation.  The students were poised, prepared and shared their passion for the work they have done this past year.  They created a great video that is available on our facebook page and on our website as well. Their edible aquifer, while messy and a little chaotic, was tasty and fun for all. Thanks for attending and sharing your H2O for Life project.  I think Quaker Valley convinced many other teachers and students that they too could help change lives for a school around the world.

At the conference, H2O for Life in collaboration with NYLC announced a "Call to Action" for help in Japan.  Between now and June 15th, we are asking students, youth groups and schools to plan a "Walk for Water" that will help rebuild the water and sanitation systems for the areas that were destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami.  All the proceeds raised through H2O for Life donations will flow to our partner NGO, Mercy Corps.  100% of the money raised will be sent to Japan.  For further information, visit our dedicated webpage:   You will find donation forms, a tool kit to help you organize a walk, and posters and flyers to use for publicity. 

If you live in Minnesota, don't forget to come to Target Field on April 16th.  Today, students from Irondale High School Volunteered at the community booth at the stadium to promote the walk.  It was a beautiful day to be outside.  We hope that next Saturday, you'll join us.  Walk and raise awareness and funds for a great cause. Information is available on our website.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Magnificent work at Magnificat High School- Water Wednesdays!

Take two young ladies, teach them about the water crisis, and look out!  Grace and Maddie visited our H2O for Life booth in Kansas City last year, and became passionate about the need for water around the world.  The girls studied the issues, and approached their advisor, Ms. Higgins, with the plan to raise funds for Okio Primary School in Uganda.

After "much collaboration and many meetings, the idea of our Water Wednesday was born," said Grace.
Students would take a pledge to only drink water on Wednesdays, and donate their extra money to the project.

After seven Wednesdays, lots of publicity, and an overwhelmingly generous school community, the girls and the school reached their goal of $1350.

They said, "Magnificat has learned, not only how lucky we are to have water at our fingertips, but how it is part of our responsibility as human care for the less fortunate.

Thank you to the entire Magnificat High School student body, community and teachers  from Rocky River, Ohio, and a special thanks to Grace, Maddie and Ms. Higgins.  You saw a need and went into action!
Congratulations!  Your school has helped change the lives of students at Okio Primary School in Uganda.

Monday, April 4, 2011

"7 Songs for 7 Wells!"

Today, H2O for Life received a fantastic video from Grandville High School in Michigan.  Their school choose H2O for Life partnerships with 7 partner school projects in Nicaragua.  They came up with a unique and entertaining fund raising idea.  They titled it, "7 songs for 7 wells."  They did an all school "lipdub" challenge for the Guinness Book of Records.  They attempted to do the world's longest lip synch.  I don't know if they won, but the video is great to watch.  Talk about students and staff having fun together for a great cause! As we watched the video, we were amazed at the costumes, the planning and the fun that was shared by the whole school. Love the gym scene at the end.  Congratulations Grandville.  We will play your video at our Walk for Water on April 16th at Target Field as people line up for the event.

A note from Grandville teacher, Kelly Stouten:
"I just wanted to let you know that we've raised over $5000 - closer to 6 - so far and have a couple more fundraisers in store for the remainder of the year, so we will have no problem raising our goal amount. I'm sending you a link to the lipdup we did as an entire school. We made and sold t-shirts that the H2O logo on the front and said 7 songs for 7 wells (even though some of the project are for wash stations/latrines) on the back. It was a different fundraising idea that maybe others haven't heard of."


Thanks for sharing Kelly and students from Grandville.  You are AWESOME!

WARNING:  the video is about 15 minutes long- don't start unless you have time to finish watching-because you'll be hooked!

What can you do to raise the passion and the fun level in your school?