Our inaugural curriculum-themed month was a great success! Last spring, we established topics for each month that guide our classroom activities and provide opportunities for cross-curricular, cross-grade level projects.
September's theme was Water - and our teachers and students "dove right in"! It was a busy month of fun and learning, and I wanted to share with you some of the highlights:
A sample of what we did:
- 7th graders walked from school to Ping Tom Park and back to collect water, and raised $800 for WATERisLIFE to provide LifeStraws to people who do not have ready access to clean water
- 4th graders worked with their 8th grade schoolmates about topics such as erosion and clean water, and then acted on that knowledge with legislative advocacy
- Students talked, wrote and reflected on the fact that water is a gift from God and that all people have a right to clean water
- 6th graders worked on the intersection between civilization and water through their social studies classes
- 3rd graders studied water scarcity
Some of what we learned:
- Nearly 40% of the world's population does not have ready access to clean water
- It is a very complicated process to set up a system for providing clean water to communities
- Women and girls bear a greater burden in providing their families with clean water, and this often affects their ability to complete an education
- It can be difficult and time-consuming to transport water needed for everyday lives
- People who want to help solve the world's water problems will need to have many different skills and study many different disciplines
We concluded with the Feast of St. Therese School Mass, where our guest Yi Wei spoke of how St. Therese supported her during her difficult early years, and started her on the path toward a life of serving others. St. Therese gave Yi a great start - she graduated from St. Therese in 2002, went on to be Valedictorian of her class at St. Ignatius, and then graduated from Harvard and the New England Conservatory.
Yi reacted to the students' presentations, asked questions about their projects and shared some of her experiences as director of water, sanitation and hygiene at International Development Enterprises, where she helps bring water and sanitation systems to developing countries. Her remarks from church can be read here. Highlights of the day also included a reception with Yi's classmates and former teachers, as well as a lunch with Yi and some students. A full wrap-up of the day's events is on our website.