Water Walk Results

Salem Hills Sees Results of Spring Service Learning Project
Posted on 09/15/2022
Salem Hills Water WalkLast school year, Salem Hills Elementary School hosted a Water Walk as its service learning project through H2O for Life. Salem Hills has been partnering with H2O for Life for more than 10 years to increase access to clean water around the world while empowering Salem Hills students to make positive change. The Water Walk helped students understand what water access challenges people in other countries face and it helped them raise funds to bring clean water to schools in Nicaragua and Tanzania.

Leading up to the Water Walk, students studied the water crisis and learned how a clean water source increases time for education. Students learned that almost a billion people around the world make a three-hour journey to gather water every day and that, many times, their sources of water are shared with livestock and polluted. Children in areas that lack access to clean water spend more time fetching water and recovering from waterborne illnesses than learning.

The Water Walk simulated the journey of these children. Last May, Salem Hills students gathered water from a local pond and walked around the school’s track with it. Older students carried 10 liters and younger students carried five, which is how schools without access to water split up the work. The Water Walk also gave Salem Hills students an opportunity to fundraise to bring clean water access to a school in Nicaragua last spring and a school in Tanzania this fall.

Last spring, Salem Hills raised enough funds to install a well at Caracol School in Nicaragua. Funds for Caracol School’s well were matched by Nicaragua’s implementing organization. Remaining funds were pooled with funds from a school in Golden Valley, Minnesota, to install another well at Tagamenda Primary School in Tanzania. At both locations, a borehole well was drilled on school grounds, flushed, and tested. Donations covered the materials, labor, and training required to install and sustain the clean water source. The water will be used for drinking, washing facilities, and toilets to improve the general health of students and their communities and to expand the educational opportunities for all students.

The Water Walk and lessons leading up to it left Salem Hills students with the knowledge and confidence to be agents for change. The project challenged students to think about their own water usage habits, and it developed their awareness of issues surrounding water worldwide and how they could make a difference, no matter their age. Great job, students!