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Fifth Grade Students Take "A Long Walk to Water" and Gain Understanding of World Issues

Fifth graders at Hemby Bridge now appreciate the needs of many countries around the world after reading the true story of a Sudanese “Lost Boy”, in A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  Students encountered the challenges of many villages and communities in Africa that face the obstacle of obtaining fresh clean water to drink.  In the book, students learned about Nya,   a girl in South Sudan whose village suffers from drought and water shortages. Alongside the story of Nya is the true story of Salva, one of approximately 3,800 Sudanese “Lost Boys” who were adopted by families in the United States in the mid 1990s. Before leaving Africa, Salva experienced war and was forced to travel hundreds of miles before ultimately relocating to Kenya. During his journey, he faced starvation, animal attacks and disease. Later after his adoption by an American family, he returned to South Sudan to build wells to bring fresh water to the region.

After reading the story and studying the needs of many communities in Africa, students decided to collect money to help a village or community in need in Africa. “Salva’s story of survival was amazing,” commented fifth grade student Jenna Sadler. Students in fifth grade classes requested donations during their presentation of South Sudan at Hemby Bridge’s Annual International Festival.  Students raised $71.43 which will be used to purchase a basket of hope through Heifer International to help a needy family in Africa. A hope basket includes rabbits and a starter flock of chickens. Families will also receive training and education in the animals’ care.  Students were pleased they were able to help people in Africa in need.  Fifth-grade student Olivia Jordan wanted to help others in need after reading the story, and said “I thought the story of Salva was very inspiring.”

Written by: Tammy Williams, Fifth Grade Teacher
Posted: May 18, 2014 by Betsy Ziskind

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