Carrying water gauges, signs promoting water conservation and ear-to-ear smiles, the Elsa England Elementary School third grade water warriors walked the 5 kilometers children in Kenya walk each day to access polluted drinking water that often leads to sickness and disease.
The walk, hosted at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex, culminated a year of research, learning and planning, resulting in $8,500 in donations, most of which will go to the Konge’ren Primary School in Kenya for a $4,500 for a rain catchment tank, new latrines and a handwashing station. The 318-student school has 11 permanent classrooms with no water purification of water done at the school.
“I am really proud of our students and our staff who helped to organize this amazing project,” teacher Rachael Brunson said. “When kids do a project like this, they learn that they can make a difference in the world at a young age. They become aware about problems we have in the world, then they learn about the action steps they can take to enact change.”
Third grade teachers combined reading, writing, math, social studies and science lessons around water conservation and the problems with clean water access in Kenya, Brunson said. For example, students learned measuring skills by tracking rainwater, practiced writing through invitation letters to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Flores and learned the science behind water conservation strategies.
“The Elsa England water warrior project brought together cross disciplinary learning that prepares students for college and careers,” Dr. Flores said. “These students are learning about being global citizens by helping to solve real world problems. These students represent the world class education we strive to provide every Round Rock ISD student.”
Students shared lessons learned with parents and attendees before starting their walk at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex, 10211 W. Parmer Ln. in Austin. Dr. Flores and Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw also address the group, supporting the mission of the water warriors.
“From the city of Round Rock, we are so proud of our Elsa England water warriors,” McGraw said. “Water conservation is an important topic for cities in Central Texas as we deal with the realities of the state’s drought. I am so encouraged for what the future will bring with socially conscious and responsible citizens like those from England Elementary School.”
The water warriors worked with H20 for Life, a nonprofit group that educates, engages and inspires youth to learn, take action and become global citizens, according to the group’s website. For more information on the group, visit www.h2oforlifeschools.org.
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