“Mr. McGough…can I have a pass to get a drink of water?”

– Too many students to count

 

Photo credit: G. McGough

 

 

Since 2007, Blog Action Day (BAD) is a an annual event (Oct.15) that calls upon the bloggers of the world to unite around a common issue in order to promote social awareness. The theme this year is simply WATER. According to the Change.org BAD10 website, 1 in 8 people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water. That is nearly a BILLION people!

As a secondary English teacher, I am asked everyday by several hundred students to get a drink. Okay…so I’m prone to hyperbole when making a point! When I learned of the topic for the 2010 Blog Action Day, I was helping students research charitable organizations for their persuasive essays on poverty awareness. Without much thought, I signed a student’s hallpass and allowed him to go and get a drink. What a demonstration of power, the ability to either allow or deny access to drinking water for another human being. Until writing this post, it never occurred to me that in some classrooms teachers aren’t given the option to allow their students a safe drink of water. At the same time, my seniors don’t realize what a privilege it is to have access to safe drinking water.

In celebration of BAD 2010, I printed facts from the Water Aid America website and cut them into slips. Before I left school today, I placed the slips into an envelope near my class sign-out sheet. Tomorrow, the students will have to announce a global safe water statistic to the class before I will sign for them to go get a drink. In this manner, the class will gain an awareness of and appreciation for living in a country where safe drinking water is so plentiful.

Educators have a responsibility to bring social awareness to issues that sometimes go unnoticed by the general adult population. We at the Coalition for International Initiatives are attempting to bridge cultural gaps by connecting classrooms in India and the United States over a digital platform, eKWIP. Children will collaborate over common problems plaguing the global community. At CII, we have identified the subjects of Art, Education, and the Environment as our key curriculum areas. In reference to this year’s theme, it is important to note that CII’s environmental initiative establishes a commitment to safe drinking water with its support of Cardinal Resources, a firm dedicated to a clean environment and water through intelligent engineering.

Thank you BLOGGERS for your efforts to bring about positive social change with your posts for Blog Action Day 2010!

Gregory M. McGough, M.Ed.

CII Chief Academic Officer

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