Back in August, fifth-graders at The Episcopal School of Dallas were posed with the question, “How can I impact my global community locally?” This question was the springboard for their year-long service learning project that will ultimately aim to purchase a clean water well in a needed community. The project, in partnership with Paper for Water, a local organization working to provide safe drinking water to communities abroad through the creation and sale of paper origami ornaments, aims to bring awareness and support to these affected communities
“Our fifth-grade students talk about natural resources and water in their science classes so we searched for an organization that would be able to make that curricular connection,” explains ESD's Director of Service Learning, Courtney Phelps. “They have engaged in preliminary discussions about sustainable development goals, access, and quality as it relates to natural resources like water, as well as stereotypes and their impact.”
To gain an initial hands-on understanding of what it’s like to not have immediate access to safe, clean drinking water, students participated in a “water walk” where they carried five-gallon jugs of water across Stoffel Commons. Though their walk was only about 100 feet, they learned that the average person who does not have this access has to walk 3.7 miles to retrieve it.
The fundraising portion of the project will start later this semester, with fifth graders and their senior buddies joining forces to create paper origami ornaments to sell to the community this holiday season. Additional fundraising efforts will take place at service pop-ups in the spring. Their comprehensive fundraising efforts will go toward purchasing a water well in a needed community of their choice.
Good luck to ESD's students as they embark on their year-long cross-curricular service project, and stay tuned for information on how you can support their efforts by purchasing your own origami ornaments this holiday season!
ABOUT PAPER FOR WATER
Paper For Water's primary function is to raise money to fund water wells worldwide. The organization is committed to teaching children in developed countries about the world water crisis and working to help children in developing countries gain access to clean water and sanitation. Paper For Water seeks to empower the youth in developed countries with skills in leadership, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship. It also wants to improve their understanding, compassion, empathy and to broaden their knowledge of the world around them. Learn more here.