Over the past couple of weeks, I have presented at a number of elementary schools on behalf of Change for Children, talking about water disparity around the world, and in particular our water project in Nicaragua. Sometimes in the gymnasium, sometimes in the library, but always always in the presence of wide-eyed students with so much to say, so much to take in, and so much to contribute! They go home and build water wells out of cardboard to canvas the neighborhood! They ask if they can donate money from their lemonade stands! They make their younger siblings stop letting the water run when they brush their teeth!
No matter how many times I hear similar stories, I still get tickled. And not just tickled. I get excited!
Coupled with enthusiastic teachers, students love the idea of making a difference. The grade three students at Elizabeth Barrett School have been following this blog since school started, and after visiting them a month ago, they too have decided to jump on board.
The grade three class first rallied the other three grade three classes, and then the whole school got on board to host a Water Walk on World Water Day, March 22nd. They will each contribute a loonie or a toonie (because small can be BIG, remember?!) and walk for thirty minutes carrying 4L milk jugs filled with water to acknowledge the walk, the time, and the struggle that is required by many to access water.
I LOVE THIS.
Though they rallied the whole school, they haven’t stopped there. They made video messages (green screens and all!) to invite other grade three classrooms (or entire schools!) to do the same on World Water Day. Or anytime. To quote one of the little spokesmen in one of the videos I previewed, “You don’t have to do something by World Water Day, just do SOMETHING!”.
The chorus of children rhythmically (and in unison sometime three or four at a time) saying “Change a life today at forthewellofit.ca” has left me even more excited for my trip to Nicaragua in May to report back!
If your class, your child’s class, or someone you know, would like to take Elizabeth Barrett’s third grade challenge, please contact Jmwright@rockyview.ab.ca. Maybe even make a video response in return. I promise you, they will be tickled too!
And if the awesomeness in the video above did not inspire you to encourage the participation of your class or your child’s class, read the message below that will accompany the video invitations. Thank you all you Teachers out there for doing such a great job showing kids that they are not too small to make a difference. You are simply awesome! And I am in awe.
You are in receipt of this email because we believe you are someone who can make a difference.
There’s a saying that “small can be big.” Remember the starfish? What a BIG difference being thrown back into the ocean by that small child, made to it?
We here at Elizabeth Barrett Elementary are hoping that with your help, we too can do something BIG. We need you and we hope you will join us. By ourselves we are small but with you we can be BIG!
We are sending you a video (that our grade three students made as part of their global citizenship projects) asking you, your school, your class, your students to join us in a group effort to make a BIG difference in a small community. A community in Nicaragua is in need of a water well.
The cost is $10,000 for a new well, but if our school raises at least $365 dollars and yours does too and every other school we ask does, when we put all of our money together we just might have enough to build a well for a community who really needs it!
Forthewellofit.ca initiator Nicole Farn was moved after traveling with the charity “Change for Children” to Nicaragua on a water mission. She came home to Alberta and wanted to do something to help communities in desperate need of water. She is not a rich woman and she didn’t have a lot of money herself to give, but she wanted to help. She also knew a lot of her friends would want to help, but wouldn’t be able to offer much money and that is when her idea was born. Why shouldn’t the “little guy” be able to make a BIG difference? She realized that if she could raise $365 and find 30 friends or friends of friends who could also raise $365 (a dollar a day) that over the course of a year, they could build a well.
The idea of small can be BIG is working. It’s making a difference. A BIG difference. We want to be part of it and we want you to be a part of it too! Our grade three students have partnered with forthewellofit.ca and we are inviting you to join us!
March 22nd is World Water Day and our school is going to hold a water walk to raise awareness of the hardships some communities endure in their daily quest for water and also to raise funds. We are asking each student to bring a milk jug full of water to school. We are also asking each student to bring in a toonie or loonie or more as a donation. We will spend thirty minutes on World Water Day walking laps around our soccer field carrying jugs of water in our arms, on our heads and with the help of our friends.
ü Because it will be fun.
ü Because it will be hard.
ü Because it will raise awareness and money.
ü Because it will help us make a difference.
After the walk, we will take the water from our jugs and empty it on the trees in our neighbourhood so as not to waste it.
We invite your school to find a way, any way to participate in this effort to bring a water well to a community in need in Nicaragua. We don’t insist you do something on World Water Day, but we urge you to do something. $365 is a small amount, but when we all put our $356 together, it will be BIG. Big as a brand new well!!!
Please RSVP as soon as possible if you’d like YOUR school to do something to contribute to our water well fund. If we manage to raise enough money a plaque will be placed at the well in Nicaragua naming the community’s well after Rocky View Schools. As the teachers of these grade three students we are eager for them to find out just exactly how BIG small can be. Please be a part of it, at your own school or you are welcome to join us. We will be walking on our school field at 1:30 p.m. Wed. March 22nd, 2016.
Contact: Our Grade 3 team of teachers: Jeanne Wright, Karen Hammer, Margot Wheller, Deborah Crawford or Mekah Engman at Elizabeth Barrett School for more information and to commit.