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Do you realize that the average American uses the
World Water Day, which occurs on 22 March every year, is about taking action to tackle the water crisis. Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.
H20 For Life is a Minnesota-based organization that is involved in a program which allows them to partner with small rural schools in Nicaragua to help provide hand washing stations, vented latrines, and hygiene education. It is also a non-profit organization that was formed for the purpose of raising funds for water, sanitation and hygiene education for schools in developing countries.
The average walk for water in these countries is three miles and can take up to six hours daily. Women and girls are responsible for the largest burden of carrying the water. The average water load is 40 – 50 pounds. Girls often drop out of school once they are old enough to begin carrying water. The lack of bathrooms at schools also forces young women to drop out.
So how did H20 For Life begin?
In 2007, Patty Hall received a cry for help from a small village in Kenya that was desperate to build a water project. Could she help? She introduced the idea to her school, Highview Middle School in New Brighton MN, to see if they could help raise funds for the project. Staff and students embraced the challenge with open arms. Students learned about the global water crisis and created action plans. It was an amazing and inspirational school year as students organized walks for water, sold wrist bands, note cards, and t-shirts. They also held piano concerts, pizza parties, babysitting events and asked family and friends for donations.
In the end, Highview Middle school donated $13,000 (twice the amount requested for the project) to Kathungu Village. Today, Kathungu Village has water available year round due to the efforts of Highview Middle School. Highview students and teachers didn’t stop with one project. They wanted to do more. This led Patty and a group of committed parents and teacher volunteers to establish H2O for Life as a non-profit.
H2O for Life educates, engages and inspires youth to learn, take action and become global citizens. We provide students with a unique and valuable learning experience through service-learning opportunities focused on the global water crisis. Learn more about their mission and how you can help here.
6 Books That Help Kids Understand Water
A child crouches beside a meadow brook, and a drop of water collects and falls from the child’s fingertip to continue on its journey. Where does that journey begin? High in the sky, rain clouds are parting. Water trickles and flows down the mountain, collecting in an upland bog, seeping through a beaver’s dam, rushing over rocks, passing many plants and animals along its winding way—each dependent on water and the different environments it shapes to live. Author and illustrator Gordon Morrison has captured a single moment in time, revealing the course and influence of water, and inviting readers to pause and consider the world around them in this beautiful and lyrical appreciation of nature and the resource that makes it all possible—a drop of water. Perfect for grades 2-4.
One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss, illustrated by Rosemary Woods
This books is beautifully illustrated and has easy-to-read text. Per the book’s title, it helps young readers understand water conservation via demonstrates that all the water on the earth (in the atmosphere, oceans, rain…) comes from one well–a well we depend on for survival. It covers water usage, pollution, and conservation topics.
This title is clearly written to teach water conservation, not necessarily the water cycle, but it does do a good job of showing water in its many different forms (rivers, atmosphere, etc) and how that relates to human lives. Perfect for grades 4-8.
A fun and educational book on the water cycle that helps to make this ‘hard to see’ topic finally click for kids, This ‘ode to water’ is would be a fun read-aloud on Earth Day, on a rainy day, or even a really hot day! And, of course, this is a great book to read when teaching about the water cycle for kids. However, we want to be clear that the treatment is light and poetic, not scientific and descriptive, and only part of the book touches on stages in the water cycle. One spread covers rain and run-off, the next evaporation, and a third condensation and rain. The book then moves on to other water-related topics. Thus, this ‘celebration of water’ could be a nice supplemental text once the water cycle has been introduced. Perfect for k-Gr. 3
An Italian boy sips from a fountain in the town square. A hiker takes a refreshing drink from a mountain stream. Black-robed women in India stride gracefully through a field with brass water jugs balanced on their heads. Whether they squeeze it out of a burlap bag, haul it home from a communal tap, or get it out of their kitchen faucet, people all around the world are unified by their common need for water. Barbara Kerley brings home this point simply and eloquently in this beautiful and educational picture book that combines striking National Geographic photographs with a poetic text to show how people in various cultures use and conserve the world’s most vital resource. Perfect for grades K-2nd.
Princess GieGie Water Is Here by Georgie Badiel
Water Is Here! Princess GieGie lives in a small village in Burkina Faso, Africa. Every morning, she has to walk for miles to fetch water for her family. Determined to find a better way, she devises a plan to change her community for the better. The book takes readers on an inspiring journey as this kind-hearted princess works to make her dreams a reality.
Princess GieGie’s story shows readers that young girls in Africa are intelligent, capable, and resilient. Water Is Here gives readers a glimpse into the diverse realities of children in Burkina Faso, Africa. Princess GieGie’s story also helps us realize the importance of staying determined in the face of hardship. Readers can identify with her work ethic and her unshakeable faith in her goals. Additionally, readers learn that failure is inevitable and is the key to cultivating inner strength and resiliency. Using songs, colorful illustrations and native vocabulary, Princess GieGie shows readers the hidden beauty of the people and land in Burkina Faso.
Something To Do: Activities thing bring the message of water importance to Life.
KcEdventures has a great activity for Teaching Kids to Conserve Water .
Becky at Kid World Citizen has great activity ideas and recommended reads to help celebrate the day as well.
Concerned that your kids aren’t getting enough “outside time?”
Despite data that shows that 80% of natural vitamin D comes from the rays of the sun, many children, roughly only 23% are spending enough time outside and welcoming the sun’s rays. Most children do not get enough vitamin D from food alone and are at risk of deficiency if they are spending prolonged periods of time indoors. Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters from The Toymaker have combined their respective talents to not only create a clever solution, but also an amazing guidebook to help parents help their children regain their interest and love of nature.
With over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for families to enjoy, learn, discover and play together, A Year In the Secret Garden brings the magical story to life while also enjoying nature and the great outdoors.
With fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book. Our goal is to not only raise awareness for the necessity of families spending more quality “unplugged” time together but to also share monthly activities that incorporate nature and the outdoors as well. Get your kids moving, exploring and playing today. Get access to this wonderful children’s activity book here.
Meet you “in the garden!”