2/20/12

Greetings Globe Trotting Friends (young and old):

As some of you may know, I have gone "back to school" to work on my masters degree. That in itself is an exciting thing; but I am also excited to have returned to Webster University where I studied almost 20 years ago to obtain my teaching certification and my bachelors degree. As I am wrapping up my first year at Webster, I am working hard on a project for my Global Citizenship class (a required course at Webster for my degree). The project I am working on is focused on the growing water crisis around our planet, and all of the many ways that people young and old are pulling together to fight a number of issues involving having save, clean, and enough water where people need it. I found out, that my good buddy, Mr. Brennan, is VERY passionate about this issue, and is interested in finding ways to teach MICDS kids about the issues that face our planet's water supply, and the struggle that some people have to survive on very little or poor quality water supplies.

I am hoping that I can sustain my initial interest, and that I will find partners on our campus who would like to explore ways to learn about the issue, educate others, and most importantly take action that can make a difference in the lives of our students. I thought it would be fun to communicate with my second grade students who are in a similar place in your journeys to develop solutions for some really serious issues that you have identified in your Civic Responsibility projects.

My interest in this subject was first piqued when I came upon a news story about some Washington University Engineering students who are planning a trip to Ethiopia do build a system for delivering clean water to a school for Blind Children.
http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/287245/4/Wash-U-students-help-blind-students-in-Ethiopia
I later learned that Mr. Brennan had already been in contact with some of these students, and was inspired by their project to look for ways to bring education about the global water crisis to MICDS as well.

I researching the subject for my project, I have been encountering a lot of information about organizations, religious groups, and companies who are working hard to solve the crisis, and there are some amazing organizations that we could possibly connect with. However, I feel very strongly that it is service and learning should go hand in hand (something Mr. Shaw taught me years ago). So my hope is that any project that might arise out of this will be opportunities for all of us to learn and grow together (not just collect some money and hand it over). Mr. Brennan, Ms. Adams, Mr. Shaw and I have already shared some early ideas for how we could connect our science classes, Lego Club, maybe even summer programs to this cause. All of these are very exciting.

I welcome any thoughts, comments, ideas that you may have! Good luck to you as you start your own projects aimed at making a difference. I will be updating you on this page as things develop here on campus related to my college project.

All the Best!
Mr. Ives