Monday, May 30, 2011

Prairie Crossing Project

Prairie Crossing, Illinois students create an all school event!

Chelsea Curran and Lauren Rudolf choose H2O for Life and the water crisis as a focus for a school assignment. They set up six informational stations and challenged their school to walk for water in honor of Earth Day.  The girls went above and beyond the assignment guidelines, writing a 20-25 research paper and putting in over 50 hours of time to organize the event.  The girls raised funds to help bring water, sanitation and hygiene education to a school in Tanzania.  To read the local newspaper article, click on the link below:

Congratulations, and thanks, girls for your inspiration and passion!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

HB Woodlawn and others walk for water

March, April and May have certainly been the months that have seen the greatest numbers of water walks for H2O for Life.  H2O suggested walking on April 16th to collaborate with Global Youth Service Day, and many schools were able to join us. We have heard results from many schools, and so far, schools have raised over $70,000 for water- just by walking! Incredible.

On Saturday, April 21, Patty Hall, H2O for Life President, flew into DC to attend the HB Woodlawn walk for water at Potomac Overlook Park. The weather was gorgeous, the trail run was fantastic, and over 300 runners turned out for the event.  HB students, faculty and an energetic parent group organized the event.  It was a "real" race venue.  Runners had official times, and prizes were awarded for many categories.  The real winners are the students at Baliarpur School in Bangladesh, and HB's partner school in Haiti.  Close to $14,000 was raised by the first annual HB Woodlawn run/walk.  The partner schools will recieve water, sanitation an hygiene education thanks to the efforts of the students.  What a treat to see one of our schools in action. Kudos to teacher Cecelia Allen for her dedication and inspiration to her school. 

Other news:
Two weeks ago, Rockford School in Minnesota, hosted a walk for water and a carnival.  They successfully raised over $11,000.  Not only are walks successful, but they also give students and others the opportunity to "feel" the distance that others walk multiple times daily for water.  Students may also gather donations from family and friends, which ultimately helps the school reach their funding goal for their partner school. At Rockford, students were challenged to EACH raise $30 to walk.  240 students achieved that goal. 

Centerville Elementary School in Minnesota raised over $2900 over the course of the year by sponsoring several engaging events, while teaching about the water crisis.  Their culminating event ended with their principal- a really good sport- being "slimed" with something green and gooey.  (see the video on our facebook and youtube page) The great news- he asked the kids why they were doing  the activity, and most hands went up with the answer- to help our partner school have water. 

Every penny, nickel, dime and dollar that is raised by schools makes a difference.  Whether your project raises five dollars or five thousand dollars, we hope that kids are learning about the water crisis, and are realizing that they can change the world.

Enjoy springtime. The school year is winding down.  Don't forget about H2O for Life.  Drop us an email, and commit to your project for next fall.  We'll work through the summer to gather all the materials that you need when you return to school after the break.

Thanks for all that each and everyone of you are doing.  We can change the world, and we can do it by providing a needed water, sanitation and hygiene education intervention one school at a time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Walk for Water- around the country

On April 16th, many H2O for Life schools celebrated Global Youth Service Day by hosting "Walks for Water" at their schools, local parks, and in Minnesota, at Target Field, home of the TWINS Baseball team.
Schools raised awareness of water issues worldwide, and raised funds for global school partners through donations.  Many of our partners supplied water containers so that participants could experience the hardship of carrying water for distances. All walks had their own individual flavor and fun.  Some were blessed with great weather, and some, not so much!  The walk in Minnesota competed with 2 inches of snow and 40 degree weather. All agreed that carrying water was difficult, and that rain, snow, hot sun and other variables made it even more challenging.

Thanks for all the schools and organizations that hosted walks for water, and for those that are still planning walks before the end of the school year.  Your efforts will change lives.

H2O for Life recently received a call from a teacher in Colorado. To paraphrase, she said, I met one of your presenters at the National Social Studies Convention.  He made a statement that resonated with me and also with my students. He said "Ask your students this question.  Do you want to be the student in the class that just filled a seat, or do you want to be the student that changed the world."  Her students have stepped up, and are working to make a difference!  Challenge your students, your youth group, your church and yourself to be the person that changes the world.  You know you can!