Delmarva Christian School Milton Campus hosted its inaugural Water Day event March 11, when elementary and middle school students learned about the global clean water crisis and raised money to support clean water fundraising efforts around the world.
Science teacher Julie Eckels said she knew students would be disappointed when the annual science carnival had to be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, so she devised an alternative plan.
“I learned of World Vision International’s annual Water Day drive and saw an opportunity for our students,” Eckels said.
Eckels tweaked the program to create a comprehensive learning experience, incorporating lessons and week-long challenges that culminated in a one-day, school-wide event that included a water walk, learning stations, and a fun dirty water dunk.
“I wanted to incorporate science and math lessons so students could develop an understanding of the biology of clean versus unclean water,” Eckels said. “But, as we learned more about how many people don’t have access to water – let alone clean water – we realized the project wasn’t about us anymore.”
The journey began with informational videos highlighting the challenges and risks individuals face every day because of water scarcity. Subsequent lessons included water-use calculations and conservation, microorganisms and water contamination, and tip-tap hand-washing structures.
A week before the event, a special chapel service was held for middle school students where they received photos and informational packets about sponsor children they would pray for up until Water Day.
On March 11, middle school students took to the streets of Milton and experienced firsthand what it’s like to travel over three miles by foot to gather and transport buckets of water, while younger students remained on campus and participated in numerous learning activities, including lifting 40-pound jugs of water, constructing tip taps, purifying dirty water, calculating average daily water use, and brainstorming solutions for difficult real-world, water-gathering scenarios.
“I believe that connecting with a child and walking in their shoes really made a tremendous impact propelling our students to want to learn more,” said Eckels. “I grew more than I ever imagined, and the students did too.”
The Water Day event closed with buckets of “dirty” water being dumped on Delmarva Christian School Milton Campus Principal Drew Jensen in celebration of funds raised through the program for global clean water efforts.