Walk to Water Event Held at Randall School on June 25, 2019
On June 25, students in Ms. Alo’s, Mrs. Elliot-Birdsall’s and Mrs. Holl’s classes participated in their final public product for their PBL (Project-Based Learning) project on Water Scarcity. In order to raise awareness, students and staff walked for one hour with posters about the different challenges people living with water scarcity face.
The two classes have been working on this PBL unit since May. The students focused on answering the driving question, “How can we as fundraisers, raise money and awareness about people facing water insecurities.”
During the unit, the class went on a field trip to Cortland Water Works to learn more about how we in Cortland get our water. Students read the book, “The Water Princess” by Susan Verde in which a girl has to spend half of her day walking to water. Since the girl in the book spends so much time going to get clean water she cannot attend school. This story made the problem seem more real for many of the students. Students realized that every day in rural communities throughout sub-Saharan Africa, millions of people suffer from a lack of access to clean, safe water and for school-aged children it's a burden that traps them in poverty.
Student Simone Densmore said, “children in Africa can die if they drink dirty drinking water. It is important we let other people know about the water problems many places have. Living in America, we do not realize that access to clean water is such a luxury.”
Megan Alo said, “I wanted to teach this unit because I think it is important to expose students to problems that the world is facing and try to have the students come up with solutions. This is the second PBL unit that I have been a part of and I think the way the PBL units allow students to work cooperatively to solve a real world problem. Part of PBL is that our students get to have voice and choice. For this project students selected what organization to fundraise money for and were able to choose weather to create a podcast, posters or social media post.”
Kathleen Elliott-Birdsall said, “ PBL allows children to become advocates for important issues. We are not just teaching children to read and write, but to become good citizens of their community.”
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