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Valle Crucis student raise money for 'Water for Sudan'


When Valle Crucis seventh-graders read Linda Sue Park’s “A Long Walk to Water” last September, they wanted to take what they’d learned from the book off the page.  

So, along with their teacher Courtney McClellan-Brown, the students set to work on a project that would raise money for a nonprofit called Water for Sudan – an organization founded by the book’s main character, Salva Dut. The group works to provide clean water for the people of South Sudan.

The student’s goal was to raise $250 – enough to cover a piece of equipment similar to a wheelbarrow that would allow for much more water to be transported easily by Sudanese villagers. But by the end of the fundraiser, they’d raised $1382.50 -- enough to make Valle Crucis a Water for Sudan partner school.

The students -- joined in their work by sixth-graders who wanted to lend a hand -- raised the money though a fundraiser called Water Run, Flip Fun. A two-part event, the fundraiser challenged participants to walk or run laps of the Valle Crucis gym while carrying a gallon of water.

Beyond the logistical difficulty of the act itself, McClellan-Brown said there was a special significance in the exercise: The students modeled characters in the book who were required to carry their drinking water in large quantities from their water source back to their homes. Donors paid each participants in the fundraiser based on the amount of laps they were able to complete successfully.

The second part of the fundraiser was a bottle-flipping contest. An idea that came directly from the students. Valle Crucis seventh-grader Alex Shahbazi was inspired by the craze that McClellan-Brown said “had taken over our middle school boys in the fall.”

Like the walk/run portion of the event, sponsors committed a certain amount of money per successful bottle flip.

Because Valle Crucis was able to raise so much money, the school was entered into the Iron Giraffe Challenge, which gives them an opportunity to win a visit from Salva Dut.

For more information on Water for Sudan, visit www.waterforsouthsudan. org