Jennifer Wyffels a teacher of 12 years at Geneso High School, started teaching about the global water crisis four years ago in her Spanish 3 and 4 classes. Her goal was not only to teach a new language but through the readings of the assigned textbook she decided to make her students aware of the difficulties that other countries faced through the section of world issues.
“Our textbook has an entire unit on world issues. Since we study Spanish-speaking countries and their cultures, I also think it’s important to share about their issues. I like for my students to be able to apply their learning to real-world situations.”
Three years ago, Jennifer started the awareness of global water crisis in her Spanish 4 class and started a campaign called “Change for a Change”. Her students were carrying around empty water/milk/juice jugs for a whole week to collect money. In a week they had collected $400 for Healing Waters International to aid the global water crisis.
This year, Jennifer and her class did it again! This time her Spanish 3 class, this year, did the same campaign though the numbers had changed. They raised $1600 – that was then donated to Healing Waters International!
When the students were asked about what was the most valuable lesson they thought they had learned throughout their experience, they answered: “Often we think that people who don’t have clean water are predominantly in Africa, but it’s actually all across the world and more people need it than we would have thought.”
For the class as a whole:
What stood out to you or surprised you in what you learned about the global water crisis?
What surprised me the most was how many people need clean water and how inexpensive it is to help people. It surprised me how many lives I could change with such a little cost. I couldn’t believe how many people die each year from waterborne illnesses. I was very surprised at how much water the average American uses each morning.
Over 100 people will now have access to safe water and health & hygiene education because of your class. How does that make you feel about your accomplishment?
By doing this, we are able to help people across the world!
I feel good, because I like helping people. I might think about continuing to donate on my own. It makes me feel proud and feel like a part of something bigger than myself.
It makes me feel like we actually made a difference and we made a positive change in our world.
There is one question that stood out the most.
Why was it so important to give and care for clean water?
“People are dying because of dehydration and diseases that are found in unclean water. No one should die or suffer through pain. Everyone in the world deserves to have access to clean water. It benefited those less fortunate, with a necessity that should be free for all. I wanted to help save people’s lives and give them a good life.”
Your contribution helps more than you can ever imagine. You might have thought, that the water crisis was found in only a few places – though the real answer is “it is everywhere”.
“Everyone in the world deserves to have access to clean water.”