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Walk a Mile and Give Life

After the Global Citizenship Action Project conference (GCAP) in New York City, students at the Boyd School decided to help the people of the Azawak. Inspired by Ariane Kirtley's presentation, they wanted to coordinate a walking for water event within their own school. But when teacher Rodney Berthold realized that several Montessori schools were collaborating in "A Walk for Water" on May 17th, he presented the possibility of teaming up with other schools to his class. The Boyd School middle schoolers liked that idea.

Rodney considered joining this larger walk because his students would "have a sense of joining a bigger community" by working together with other Montessori students. Boyd students will be working with others from Oneness-Family School, Barrie School , Henson Valley Montessori and Aidan Montessori to coordinate and publicize the walk.

Whereas teachers from the different schools are meeting to organize the practical aspects of "A Walk for Water", it is the children who are taking it outward into their own community and the broader Montessori community as well. Students from Barrie, Henson Valley and Oneness composed letters to invite other schools to join "A Walk For Water". Boyd, Barrie and Henson Valley students will be making follow-up phone calls. At Aidan, the students are busy making posters advertising the walk to the rest of the school. Oneness-Family School sixth graders are heading up "A Walk For Water" registration drive within their school.

Rodney came up with the idea of students from the various organizing schools doing a joint Amman Imman presentation for schools that request it. Already, John Hanson Montessori, a public magnet school, has asked for a student presentation in mid-April.

Rodney frames the project with a global perspective: “Amman Imman has given hope to people that have had to struggle for generations to receive what most Americans take for granted: water and basic sustenance. It is our primary global responsibility to help our brothers and sisters sustain life, so that they may next pursue liberty and happiness.”

His commitment to broadening his student's world view is reflected in their comments about the Amman Imman project. Clearly, they have connected the potential that their own actions can change the world. 8th year student Lauren Vogel says, “I believe that if they need water, I will give it. If they need help, I will help them.”

The response from the students at the Boyd School to the Amman Imman project exemplifies how the project reaches the heart of compassion in students, deepening their appreciation for what they do have while broadening their perspective about what others do not have. Amina Tobah, 8th year student, thoughtfully expresses, “I wish to help because these people have nothing and work hard to gain the slightest fraction of hope, and we have more than enough to share.”

The message from Ayisha Minter, 7th year student, reflects how the project has inspired students as Heroes of Compassion. Ayisha says, “Water is here, water is there; if you can’t reach it, I will reach it for you. If you can’t seek it, I will seek it for you. At last the water you’ve been trying to get is here for you.

David Gulajan, 8th year student, eloquently connects what we do and why we do it, “You may work a mile, and you can have life, or walk a mile and give life.”

Thanks, David, for summing it up!

Other GCAP schools helping Amman Imman include the Berkeley Montessori School and the Bowman International School.
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