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|Project Title: ||Water Is Essential|
|School Year: ||2008|
|School - District:||J S Sullivan - North Adams|
|Contact Name:||Anna Saldo-Burke|
|Contact Phone:||(413) 662-3250|
|Content-Area(s):||Arts, English Language Arts, History & Social Sciences, Mathematics, Science & Technology|
|Community Need:||Human Needs, Environment, Community Development|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
The students learned about the four main parts of the Water Cycle, that all living things need water, and that Earth has a limited amount of water that is continuously recycled.
Students learned about access to water, safe/potable water, and the need for safe water in West Africa, because millions of West Africans lack access to safe drinking water and the natural consequences are sickness and disease. They learned that girls and young women sacrifice education to haul enormous loads of water, day after day. Students worked in teams to research the water cycle, potable water, West Africa, Water is Key, Pacific Institute, and the colors of water. These six topics provided the informational/educational component of the “Water is Essential!” Service-Learning project and became the basis of the production of a PowerPoint presentation, which was used to further awareness and action. The students helped bring access to safe water to the villagers in West Africa, specifically the countries Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Ghana, through the Pacific Institute, which provides funds for non-governmental organizations working to provide water to those most in need.
The students learned that they could help improve the quality of life for others.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
The main community need that the students addressed is that all humans share basic needs to live, like having safe drinking water. Students also addressed the need that for millions of West Africans, access to clean water is a luxury, because more than half of Africa's villagers lack a clean water supply. Students discovered that: in villages in Africa, girls and women must walk up to ten miles every day to supply water for their households, that one-gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds, and that women and girls carry many pounds of water on their heads in five-gallon buckets; that the natural consequence of not having safe water is sickness and disease, and that the problem has grown causing 2.2 million deaths yearly from unsanitary water; 90% of which are children under age 5.
Students identified that water is important because there is a limited supply and we use it for many things: electricity, industry, crops, transportation and enjoyment. They identified that water is essential, especially because we use it for drinking. Students investigated the lives of West African villagers by connecting with Gil Garcetti, photographer and author of “Water is Key” and an exhibition titled, "Women, Water and Wells: Photographs of West Africa". Students understood the hope that safe water brings to West Africa.
|Service Component: |
The service that students provided was twofold, first, raising awareness and then, the desire for others to take action to help West Africans access safe water. Students gave priority to the main reason for people not having safe water is a lack of money, and that money is needed to pay for infrastructure to access water and maintain water supplies.
Students investigated a solution of helping to bring potable water to West Africans by donations made to the Pacific Institute. See the link above.
Students identified the solution that when safe water is available entire village economies change and the lives of those people goes from disease and malnutrition to hope and success. Students also connected with the Barka Foundation, a Western Massachusetts non-profit connected to Burkina Faso in West Africa. Link: http://thebarkafoundation.org/
The “Colors of Water” student art exhibit pictures that students created showed the beautiful different colors that water appears as, and the sale of these pictures raised funds for a donation.
The service component was identified through facilitated discussions, e-mail exchanges with Gil Garcetti, and putting ideas to a vote. It took three months for the students to create the PowerPoint presentation informational/educational component by first doing the research and then the process writing, then putting their information into slides. The funds that we raised made a modest contribution to the Pacific Institute, as it takes about $12,000 to create one well for West African villagers.
The impact is that girls and young women can attend school instead of fetch water, young girls and women have fewer hardships placed on their bodies due to the weight of transporting enormous amounts of water, villagers have less disease and illness, and West Africans have hope for their future.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
Language Strands: Standard 1: Discussion, 2: Questioning, Listening, and Contributing, 3: Oral Presentation, 4: Vocabulary and Concept Development, 9: Making Connections, 13: Nonfiction, 19: Writing, 20: Consideration of Audience and Purpose, 21: Revising, 22: English Conventions, 23: Organizing Ideas in Writing, 24: Research, 25: Evaluating Writing and Presentations
Mathematics-Number Sense and Operations for Grades 3-4: 4.N.1, 4.N.2, 4.N.5, 4.N.10, 4.N.12
Massachusetts and its Cities and Towns: Geography and History Grade 3 Standards:
3.1, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9
Earth and Space Science: Grades PK–2 Standards 1, 2, 4. Grade 3-5 Standards 7, 10
Physical Sciences: Grade 3-5 Standards 1, 2, 3
Technology Literacy Standards: Grade Level Exploratory Concepts and Skills K-5 Standards 1, 2, 3.
The Arts: PreK–4 Standards 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2
For more detailed descriptions of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks referenced above, please visit: http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/current.html
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Students engaged in brainstorming activities and facilitated discussions to launch the project. Ideas regarding the direction of the project were presented and discussed, and then voted on. Students did the research for the PowerPoint informational/educational presentation and answered questions at the student art exhibit artists’ receptions. Additionally, the students conveyed information via filming for our local community public access television and a local newspaper.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Students engaged in reflective writing. Additionally, students were able to articulate information regarding the need to help bring safe water to West African villagers and to make connections between learning about both the need for potable water and the need to take action to help others access this basic need. They conveyed this information to guests in attendance at the artists’ reception, while being filmed for the local community public access television station and in responding to a reporter for the local newspaper. Lastly, students will be part of a workshop at the local annual Service-Learning conference this upcoming fall, which will provide for further reflection and connections.
|Community Partners Involved: |
A Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts pre-practicum student was part of this project, especially the colors of water pictures making activity. Gil Garcetti was involved in this project, by allowing us to use his images and cite him in our “Water is Essential!” PowerPoint presentation. Also, he will show that PowerPoint presentation at his future speaking engagements to raise awareness and action. Two artists were involved with the “Colors of Water” student art exhibition, one who helped provide guidance for the student exhibit artists’ reception and creating the e-invitation design. Two North Adams City Councilors were instrumental in the videotaping of the art exhibit for the local public access community television to raise awareness. The Barka Foundation connected with us for both future work in the Berkshires Barka effort and to show the “Colors of Water” art exhibit and the “Water is Essential!” PowerPoint presentation at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on May 10, 2008, which is the local response to the worldwide Pangea Day effort. The Western Gateway Heritage State Park, Under the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation, sent out a press release and provided an opportunity for us to exhibit the “Colors of Water” student art at their Visitors’ Center for two weeks, and held an additional artists’ reception to raise awareness and provide an additional forum for the project.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
The student artists’ receptions served as ways for students to highlight and celebrate their work. The Berkshire Eagle newspaper covered the project in their weekly Learning Section, as “Elemental Exhibition” by Jenn Smith on 4/08/08. The Northern Berkshire Community Television aired the videotaped segment on a local station on two dates. A celebration consisting of cake and beverages will be had.
|Evaluation of Project’s Impact:|
We will hear from Gil Garcetti and the Pacific Institute regarding the impact of our helping West Africans access safe water, which will enable students to explore whether the service met the identified need. Workshop participants at the upcoming local annual Service-Learning Conference will hopefully duplicate the project to continue the effort to help West Africans.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.