by Laura Black
Salmonberry’s Cedars class of 6- to 9-year-olds spent their school day on Feb. 8 participating in a Walk for Water fundraiser in which they raised over $4,000 through pledges by walking half-mile laps, all in the name of raising funds to supply permanent sources of water to the indigenous people of the Azawak region of Niger in West Africa.
Some students walked 18 laps! We are all so proud of their commitment and accomplishment!
“I walked 9 miles!” said Ona Bouchard, age 9. “That was my goal, and I did it!”
This service learning effort was in coordination with the Wells of Love program, the school-affiliated service learning arm of the nonprofit organization called Amman Imman (“Water Is Life”). Since 2006, the organization has engaged with students to be caring global partners by nurturing their philanthropic and humanitarian spirits to become tomorrow’s empathic leaders. Wells of Love taps into the optimism of children and their innate desire to offer help to those in need.
“The people of the Azawak really need our help,” said Poppy Newberry, age 8.
Salmonberry has previously raised funds for this worthy organization whose mission is to drill wells and make drinking water accessible to the drought-stricken Azawak region where people must walk up to thirty miles to access clean water.
“This project brings together several of Salmonberry School’s core values,” said Salmonberry Head of School Paul Freedman. “First it is critically important that our students have an understanding and appreciation of the diverse world we live in, and the truth of the inequities that are ubiquitous. And second, as we learn about the suffering taking place around the world, we must provide opportunities for our kids to make a difference. It is not enough to care about people who are struggling, we must educate young people to help care for others, whether they are intimately or distantly related to us.”
Salmonberry would like to thank all of our donors who have pledged, our dedicated Cedars classroom teachers and parents and, most of all, the students who walked for water for this important cause. We are so proud of you!
Any islanders who would like to make a contribution to support this project can send a check made out to Amman Imman to Salmonberry School PO Box 1197, Eastsound, Wash. Salmonberry will ensure that donations make it to their destination.