Monday, October 31, 2011

H2O for Life collaborates with the World Savvy Challenge

Are you looking for more ways to involve your students in terrific programs?  Well, look no farther.  H2O for Life is collaborating with the World Savvy Challenge.  If your students are already participating in an H2O for Life project, getting involved with World Savvy will be easy.  It provides an opportunity for your students to prepare a presentation and show the rest of the country what they have learned.  Read more about how to get involved with World Savvy below:

National Online Pilot Program

H2O For Life Schools are invited to participate in the World Savvy Challenge, a project-based learning program that builds students knowledge & skills for global competence.

How it works:

Students work in teams of up to 10 in class or afterschool

Students chose a topic and problem related to the theme of Sustainable Communities and engage in in-depth research on their theme using World Savvy resources as a guide

Students participate in the Savvy Scavenger Hunt to build their knowledge of the theme and awareness of current events

Students develop local, national and global level solutions and develop a knowledge-to-action plan for how they can take action on the issue

Students present their research & solutions in either a website or documentary and submit it online along with their knowledge to action plan to compete for prizes against students from around the country

Competing students also participate in an online action roundtable, where they work with peers from other schools to discuss a related real world problem

Students who score in the top 10% of online entries are eligible to submit their knowledge-to-action plan to the national online finals where they have a chance to win up to $500 to implement their plan over the summer

World Savvy provides teachers with the necessary resources to embed these topics into their existing curriculum, including a program guide book, a World Savvy Monitor on Sustainable Communities, a Sustainable Communities Collaborator’s Guide, bi-weekly resource emails, professional development opportunities, grading rubrics, and student research support.

This is a great chance for H2O for Life students to deepen their knowledge of the connections between water & sustainability and share their research & solutions with a national audience!

Team Registration Deadline: December 15, 2011

Competition entries due March 15, 2012

Register online at

Cost: $100 per team of 10 students; $50 for additional teams. Includes all digital materials.

For more information, please contact Taylor Watson at or 415-813-1682.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stillwater Junior High School Hosts John Bul Dau

Tuesday night was a busy evening for Stillwater Junior High School.  Stillwater is located in Minnesota, and has been an H2O for Life partner for the past 3 years.  Teacher, Sara Damon, focuses on Sudan and conflict as one of her teaching modules for AP Geography.  The students read the book "They Poured Fire on us From the Sky."  They study the conflict in Sudan, and also discuss the mass exodus of the "Lost Boys". As a culminating community activity, John Bul Dau, author of the book, "God Grew Tired of Us" was invited to speak at the Junior High and spend two days in geography classrooms with the students.  Over 500 tickets were purchased for the event, and several area non-profits and a local book store also were in attendance.

John is a great story teller, and had the crowd mesmorized as he outlined his life as a youth in Sudan, a refugee, and immigrant to the US, and how he is now giving back to his native country.  He used humor, and powerful stories to engage the crowd.  Mrs. Damon has developed great curricular ideas that can be used in your classroom, and it can be found in our H2O for Life tool-kit online.

Stillwater Junior High hosted a walk for water, sold t-shirts and hosted this wonderful event to raise over $7500 so far this year wells in Southern Sudan.  But they aren't done yet!  Their goal this year is to raise $10,000 to sponsor two wells for Southern Sudan.  If you would like to help them reach their goal, make a donation online and designate, Stillwater Jr. High as the recipient.  OR.... choose a school partner, engage your school and make a difference in the world.

Congratulations Stillwater Junior High School. Your actions are changing the world.

Monday, October 24, 2011

October is Global Handwashing Day/Month!

Highlighting the “H”: on Global Handwashing Day

Now in its fourth year, Global Handwashing Day brings attention to the often forgotten “H” in WASH, hygiene. When something as simple as handwashing with soap can help reduce diarrhea rates among children under five by almost 50 percent, it is imperative that this simple practice is not overlooked.

About 34 percent of people wash their hands with soap at critical moments – i.e. before handling food and after using the toilet. The key to increasing the practice of handwashing with soap is to promote behavioral change through motivation, information and education.

There are a variety of ways to increase awareness about the importance of handwashing, including high-profile national media campaigns, peer-to-peer education, hygiene lessons for school children and encouraging children to bring home the lessons they have learned at school to their families and communities.

It is never too late to teach children that handwashing is important.  H2O for Life-besides providing water projects and toilets to schools, also focuses on handwashing and hygiene education.

What can you do to raise awareness and change behaviors in your family and school?  What can you do to help a school around the world have access to a handwashing facility?  Choose a school from our list, and take action today!