On Friday, May 20, 2011, The Willow School fifth graders partnered with charity:water, an innovative global nonprofit that brings safe drinking water to villages in emerging countries. Their goal was to raise $5,000 to drill a well in one village, providing clean, easily accessible water to hundreds of people and significantly improving their health and quality of life.
“As part of our curriculum, we analyze our local watershed and use this knowledge to understand water flow and systems in other parts of the world,” said Kate Burke Walsh, Head of School at The Willow School. “Right now, one in eight people on our planet do not have access to clean drinking water. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80 percent of diseases and result in 42,000 deaths every week, mostly of children under five years old,” she added.
The Willow School’s entire student body simulated the trek that many women and children in developing countries are forced to take in order to access a water source. They took a circuitous walk to the pond on the school’s campus, filled water jugs, and carried the heavy containers back — getting a feel for the effort required by millions to attain water. They then tested the water quality of our pond, comparing it to the water quality in developing nations. Students learned about conserving water and keeping our water supply safe by protecting our fragile watersheds.
“In order to educate children to participate in a globalized society and become the leaders of tomorrow, we need to help them better understand the challenges that impact the greater world – and encourage them to address those problems in meaningful ways,” said Ms. Walsh.
Fifth graders not only reached their fundraising goal, they surpassed it! Willow raised $5,435 dollars for this important cause, bringing clean water to May Letehiru. Click here to learn more about how the funds helped this community. Thank you for your donations!