Jackson Park Students March for Clean Water
Jackson Park students got a taste of activism earlier this month when they conducted a neighborhood “WE Walk for Water” march on May 10, 2019 to raise community awareness regarding how women and children around the world do not have access to clean water and must walk long distances to get water.
Students marched in the neighborhood around the school and held water jugs and hand-made signs. Some of the signs read, “Everyone should have access to clean water” and “We all need water.”
The students studied the issue this year as part of the Talented and Gifted Development (TAGD) program. In their research, they not only learned about water shortages around the world, but they also became aware of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, only 550 miles away from their own homes in U. City. In Flint, the city’s water supply has been contaminated with dangerous levels of lead due to old lead pipes and other issues, and is currently not drinkable.
“The Walk for Water was important because it’s very important to know there are people with less than us,” said Tyler Allen, grade 5.
In February, the students raised money during their school’s Sustainability Expo and through a coin drive. They donated $500 to WE Village to help women and children in other countries gain access to clean water. WE Village is an international organization that promotes education, water, health, food and opportunity programs in communities around the world. An anonymous WE donor has pledged to match their donation.
The students further donated the $250 raised through their coin drive to the United Way of Genesee County to help families in Flint. The United Way there will use 100% of the donated funds to purchase and distribute bottled water and filtration devices not supplied by the state of Michigan, and to increase healthcare access for children affected by lead contamination.
“This was a great experience - to make a difference and partner with WE,” said Tomas Casado, grade 4.
As part of WE Walk for Water, the students also coordinated a new spring coin drive that was quite a success. The kindergarten team raised $39.74, the fifth-grade team raised $54.90, and second-grade that raised $73.32.
“It’s important to put yourself in others’ shoes,” said fifth-grader Taylor Smith.