In Nya’s Shoes…

Tomorrow Cheyenne and the rest of the seventh grade class from STEM will walk to a pond in West Fargo to fill gallon-sized water jugs which they will carry back to their school.  The water jug activity is designed to give the kids a better understanding of what life is like for those who live in remote areas of Africa.  The students have been reading a true story called Long Walk to Water about a little girl named Nya who had to walk a mile and back to collect water for her family.  The point of this activity is to allow the STEM students to better understand what Nya’s life was like.

Cheyenne will bring a one gallon jug with her to fill and carry back to STEM.  Cheyenne tells me that some kids plan on bringing two, and a few are thinking of bringing three.  Each student has a donation sheet wherein they can collect pledges for each water jug carried back to the school by the 82 kids participating in this activity.  The suggested pledge amounts are 1-25 cents per every gallon of water returned to the school (so, if one cent is pledged and 82 gallons come back the donation is 82 cents).  All the money collected will be donated to the United Way. 

I am a big fan of practical lessons – lessons that allow folks to live an experience so they can better understand what it feels like.  I like this practical lesson for the STEM kids…I like that they will walk a mile in Nya’s shoes.  I also like the fact that family and friends can support the kids’ efforts by pledging money that will go to charity.  This is the kind of activity that not only reinforces the material in the book, but that also gives the kids an appreciation of what life is like for others who live a much less fortunate existence.  That is the kind of learning I want my child to do. 

Once again I tip my hat to the educators at STEM – this time it is to Mrs. Laux the language arts teacher who has found a way to bring learning to life for these kids.  Thank you Mrs. Laux for a great activity that will not only benefit the kids, but that will also benefit the United Way…carry on! 😉

Day eight hundred and fifteen of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

3 Responses

  1. Barbara

    Cheyenne truly won the lottery! This is the best thing happening in education I’ve heard in a long time! In this narcissistic, look-out-for-#one world, there is nothing more important for our kids to learn that other-awareness and other-caring. I hope that experiences like the water carrying are adopted by more schools.

    And now I have to quit typing before I go into one of my rabid rants about SELF-esteem classes where young people are reinforced in the notion that they are the center of the universe.

  2. Jane Laux

    Thank you Carol, but I must say this project all started with Adam Gehlhar. Last year, he read the story with his class and planned the whole walk. He gave the story to me to read with them this year, but the whole Walk is really his baby. The whole team worked together to make it happen!

    I hope you caught us (and Adam’s great interview) on KVLY tonight.

    Thanks again for your support!

    Mrs. Laux

  3. Pingback : New news… | The New Forty

Comments are closed.