Students at the Herricks Public Schools’ Searingtown Elementary School are dedicated to making a difference and this year, fifth graders set out to do so for parts of the world that face water shortage.
As a result of compassion, motivation and teamwork, the school raised a total of $3,189.90 for the Ryan’s Well Foundation, which is committed to providing access to safe water and sanitation to improve lives in the developing world.
The initiative was introduced by Martina D’Astolfo’s class after a read-aloud, which stemmed from the integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Clean Water into the curriculum. The class was moved by the book “A Long Walk to Water,” by Linda Sue Park, which is inspired by the story of Salva Dut and portrays the water scarcity struggles in Sudan. The topic was further covered by a science unit, and the class embarked on additional explorations, which led it to Ryan’s Well.
After student Aarav Harisingani approached Mrs. D’Astolfo expressing a desire to help raise funds for the organization, the rest of the class was quick to jump on board and expanded their initiative to the building.
The fifth-graders and their teachers organized a weeklong fundraiser that featured Searingtown’s own “well” and daily themes that encouraged participants to contribute change and dress the part.
They invited peers to wear unique accessories to represent “Crazy Quarters,” sport jeans in support of “Denim and Dimes,” brighten the halls on “Nickel and Neon” day, get cozy for “Pennies and Pajamas” and show their school spirit in blue and white during the “Any Amount Scottie” culmination.
Mrs. D’Astolfo’s class created a Flipgrid presentation to promote the event and had the opportunity to attend a video chat with Ryan’s Well Foundation Founder Ryan Hreljac.
The Foundation has completed over two thousand water projects and latrines in developing countries all over the world, bringing access to clean water and sanitation to over one million people.
The Searingtown students and staff members are proud to have been able to help support this valuable mission.