The month of November was a travel month to conferences for H2O for Life. Two of our favorite educational conferences were held in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. The first conference was in Portland.
In early November the Association of Middle Level Educators conference was held in Portland. It was a treat to meet teacher Laurie Lepore and her amazing High School students. After slogging through the airport with 2 very large suitcases containing our booth- I met Laurie Lepore for dinner. Laurie and I met 5 years ago at a conference in Minnesota. She shared a story with me that compelled her to take action with H2O for Life. It was a story that I had tucked away. H2O for Life shared a presentation that Laurie attended. The room was packed- we gave away free t-shirts-that always attracts a crowd! We had several groups of student presenters from Minnesota schools and shared photos of our partner school projects. At the end of the session Laurie remembers that an exchange student from Africa stood up with tears running down her face. She stated-“I cannot believe that students in your country will work to bring water to schools for people they will never meet. Thank you.” I know to this day, the students that were present in the room remember this moment.
Laurie has created a high school semester course in her school titled, “H2O for Life”- of course! Her students research issues surrounding water, learn the chemistry of water, visit local water sources and are challenged to “teach” others something of interest during the course of the class. The students also are the leaders in their school wide H2O for Life partner school program. They plan and implement activities to raise support for their partner school. Riverdale has supported 6 school projects in the past 5 years. Recently, a group from the school visited a water project in India. You can read about it on their blog site. http://www.bridgestoindia.org/blog.html
During the conference, students from Riverdale assisted at the exhibit hall booth. Students talked with teachers and shared their passion and enthusiasm. I know that their efforts will encourage other schools to join H2O for Life this year. Student, Lucy Park, also was a co-presenter at a session led by Patty Hall.Lucy had many stories to share, and was gearing up to leave for India the following week. After two busy days in Portland, it was time to head back to Minnesota for a short few days before heading to Seattle! Next stop- Seattle.