Queen Victoria School, a small inner-city elementary school on Vancouver’s east side, recently completed an extensive, school-wide, interdisciplinary study of water. An original musical play about water, written by the children with the help of teachers and artists in residence, came next. The play was a major success and proved to be a catalyst that made the children aware of issues surrounding water on a global level.
As a result of this process, the idea of raising funds to build a well in Africa was born. Contact with Moshi Changai, a Tanzanian who agreed to manage the project, was established through one of our Queen Victoria families. A business plan was developed. Fundraising began.
FUNDRAISER 1: WALK FOR WATER
Our major fundraiser, The Walk For Water was a heartwarming success. Media came to cover the event for the evening news as well as an interview with Priya Ramu on the radio show On the Coast. There is a book of photos you can look at located which is located in the library.
Our kids learned something about what it means to carry water and our small community responded very generously, and word began to spread about our project. Cheques and Pay Pal donations arrived, some from people without a connection to the school. Meanwhile, our community began sending unsolicited donations; children initiated the selling of lemonade; children actually asked for donations to the well instead of birthday presents.
FUNDRAISER 2: The Barn dance In October, Queen Vic sponsored another fundraiser, The Barndance. The Cloudfarmers and Swank rocked our local Legion. We made some money for the cause, built community and continued to creat awareness of The Water Project.
FUNDS RAISED: So, the bottom line: as of the end of 2007, we have raised $11,360. Our goal is to raise $25,000. Watch the thermometer over the coming months to track our progress.
quote This water project has become a story: a story about community, about children, about change, about teachers who care, about art, about working together and about the environment. Along with learning about one of our most valuable resources, water, this project is giving children a chance to use their voice to make positive changes within their own communities and the world at large. quote
It is hard to imagine a more pervasive, more important or more timely topic than water.
Our waterways dictated the historical direction of the exploration and development of Canada as a nation. The Port of Vancouver and the Fraser River are the most obvious local examples.
The water cycle provides a context to study the dynamic nature of water in its various states (liquid, solid and gas). Precipitation is a relevant topic, here in the rainforest. Our dramatic geography presents a perfect teaching model, as moisture laden prevailing winds off the Pacific meet the Coastal Range. Water is a key to the study of all plant and animal biology.
“Indeed, water is the essence of life on earth, the medium of our genesis.”
Water is a much taken for granted resource, especially here, with the abundance of water on the BC coast. Indeed, we know our modern “city kids’ are especially prone to assume water is free and unlimited. You just turn a tap. It behooves us to make kids aware of the many industrial and domestic uses of water. Indeed, the state of our water is an indicator of our ecological health, both as the inevitable medium for pollution, but also as a graphic measurement of the advancement of global warming.
It appears that water will increasingly become an object of industrial and political maneuvering in the future. This social political reality of water is of huge significance to us as Canadians, sitting on a significant proportion of the world’s supply of fresh water.
Water is also a source of tremendous source of joy for people. Kids love to play in it. Water provides numerous recreational activities about which people are passionate. Whether it is a river, a lake or the ocean, we love to sit beside it, look at it, listen to it and smell it. Moreover, we love to imagine the hidden mysteries and romantic histories of water.