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Cuthbertson Student Organizes "Water Walk" To Bring Clean Drinking Water To South Sudan

John  In February, Ms. Secker’s 7th grade ELA students at CMS began reading the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. During that time, students learned about the water crisis that is still happening in South Sudan, as well as the horrific experiences that the Lost Boys went through during the late 1980’s and into the early 2000’s. One student, John Bagdasarian, was particularly touched by the true story of Salva Dut, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and his story of survival.

Once the students were done reading the book as a class, John decided he did not want the story to end there. He realized that Salva Dut had created an organization called Water for South Sudan after he came to America. Water for South Sudan is an organization that provides clean drinking water for areas in desperate need and John wanted to help. So he then decided to go before the UCPS Board of Education in the beginning of March and speak at the board meeting, asking for the board to consider a walk-a-thon to raise money for this cause. That is when another teacher, Ms. McIntyre of Cuthbertson High School heard about John’s passion for clean drinking water and decided to get her Earth and Environmental Students involved in the action.

On Wednesday, March 27th, John was invited to speak directly to the students in Ms. McIntyre’s high school science class, as well as the officers of the Ecology Club at Cuthbertson High. Previously, little did John know, that the students had already decided they wanted to make this walk-a-thon a reality and had booked the track at CHS for May 11, from 8 am -12 pm.

So the planning began! John did a wonderful job presenting to the Earth and Environmental Science Class as well as leaders of the school's Ecology Club. The high schoolers were impressed with his speaking skills, leadership abilities, and overall passion for raising money for Water for South Sudan. Students mentioned during the class meeting that they were excited and passionate about helping others instead of just focusing on themselves.

During the initial meeting on Wednesday, John led the students as they all worked together to start planning this walk-a-thon event to raise money for Water for South Sudan. The track at CHS has been reserved for May 11 from 8am-12pm thanks to this awesome group of students and teachers. Currently, the students are working on a campaign to promote the event as well as the logistics of the event, including fundraising. All of the students mentioned that they would like to see support from not just the Cuthbertson Middle School and High School, but the local community including as well as all other schools in UCPS.

As the plans progress, we will keep you aware and also plan to promote the event here at the middle school, in the community, and throughout UCPS.

John set the goal for $6,000 and all of the students mentioned at the meeting on March 27th that they would like to make this an annual event.

Stephanie Secker