Chesterfield County Public Schools students raise more than $8,000 to provide clean water for hurricane-stricken Haiti

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Bettie Weaver Elementary’s third-grade classes cumulatively raised more than $8,000 for families in Haiti to filter clean water. The money raised by the students will provide bio-sand filters at the cost of $100 per family. Each family receives a filter, instructions on how to use it and the ability to filter enough water for their own use.

As part of a project-based learning program, students studied the water cycle and the importance of conserving water. The students learned that less than 1 percent of all water on earth is fresh and available to use for drinking, cleaning and other human activities. Students researched places on earth that have little water or where people have to walk miles each day to get water, many times which is not clean.

“As the school year began, we realized our neighboring country, Haiti, had been hit by the devastating Hurricane Matthew and many of their water supplies had been contaminated by the storm and the aftereffects,” said Bettie Weaver Teacher Joy Procopio. “Last year, we raised $5,000 to provide clean water for families in Africa through a similar project, and we felt good about helping a country so close to us.”

Students participated in bake sales and other various fundraising efforts to raise money. Several students set up their own personal sales at their homes or at local stores to raise money for the cause. In addition, students received pledges from friends and family for a walk-a-thon at the school, which included carrying gallons of water to demonstrate how others get their water daily in third-world countries.

“At Bettie Weaver, we are committed to promoting authentic learning experiences for our students.  Through projects, outreach and service, our students become masters of content and, equally as important, conscientious citizens of the community,” said Bettie Weaver Elementary Principal Lindsay Mottley. “Experiences such as these help build our students’ capacity for empathy and broaden their understanding of the world around them.”