Inspired by book, schools raise $2,700 for South Sudan water project

    Students, staff and parents at three Penn Manor elementary schools raised nearly $2,700 to support efforts to bring water to South Sudan after students were inspired by the book “A Long Walk to Water.”

    The book is about an 11-year-old “Lost Boy” displaced by the Sudanese civil war who must walk through southern Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya in search of a safe haven and clean drinking water, and the fictional character Nya, an 11-year-old girl who walks eight hours each day to fetch water from a pond.

    The boy in the book, Salva Dut, immigrates to the United States and begins a project to build water wells in South Sudan, where access to water supplies often is extremely limited.

    “A Long Walk to Water,” which all Penn Manor sixth-graders read this past year, inspired students at Martic, Pequea and Conestoga to raise money to support Salva’s charity, www.waterforsouthsudan.org.

    Beginning in late May, students at Martic and Conestoga held carnivals featuring bake sales, face-painting, ring toss, bowling, cup stacking, relay races and other games, during recess to raise money.

    Martic raised $1,320, and Conestoga raised $802.

    At Pequea, students were challenged to walk around the playground carrying a gallon of water. For each lap they completed, sixth-grade teacher Elizabeth Raff pledged 50 cents for Salva’s charity. Parents contributed another $300, for a total of $550.

    Raff said students were “dramatically moved” by “A Walk to Water,” which was added to the curriculum for the 2018-2019 school year.

    “Instead of feeling helpless at the end of the text, they were motivated to do something to help Salva and other children that are going through similar situations,” she said.

    “The kids did a wonderful job supporting an amazing cause,” said Trevor Mattern, a sixth-grader teacher at Conestoga.

  • Pequea students with water bottles
    Pequea students carry water on their heads to raise funds for South Sudan.