On Thursday, 185 middle school students at Shakopee Area Catholic School walked more than three miles with a gallon of water atop their heads to experience what life is like for some children in Africa who need to walk miles every day for clean water.
The 5K walk comes after education surrounding clean water access and water-related diseases.
“It’s kind of weird that you can just get water from your fridge and people from Africa have to walk so many miles to get a glass of water,” seventh-grader Ryan Becker said before the walk. “And they have to do it every day.”
The average gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds, and educators at SACS Middle School told students many children have to do the same walk carrying between two and five gallons of water every day.
“Do your best, help each other out and remember why we are doing this,” the teachers told their students in a presentation before the walk. “Imagine if you had to do this same walk every day with two, three or even five gallons of water at a time.”
After the students finished the walk, they watered the campus plants with their individual gallons of water. For the rest of the year, the gallon jugs will be used to collect coins to help fund a well in an African village.
“Middle school kids want to change the world,” middle school teacher Bev Lucarelli said. “They are humbled to realize that we use water every day for drinking, bathing, cooking and cleaning and never give a thought about what a gift it truly is.”