Water Wednesday ‘A Long Walk to Water’

A Long Walk to Water

I had the pleasure to visit Spokane Middle School where Hannah McClintock’s seventh grade students are reading A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. This short novel discusses the struggle of a young boy and girl to find water in the South Sudan. The book, a combination of a true story and fiction, is used to support the main character’s efforts to bring water to the villages of the South Sudan.

Students also participated in a variety of activities to develop an appreciation for the abundant supplies of freshwater we have available in the Ozarks. Relay races transporting gallon buckets of water gave students a deeper understanding of the importance of water conservation and just how much water a typical person in the United States uses each day (100 gallons on average). While conservation is important to protecting our resources, students also learned that it takes more than local conservation efforts to aid people suffering water shortages in other parts of the world. As part of the class project, Ms. McClintock’s students are being challenged to create innovative solutions to this international crisis. The Spokane middle school students’ approach to this global issue should be an inspiration to us all.

Jeff Birchler, Watershed Center Coordinator