Walking with a Jug on their shoulders

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Inspired by a true story they read in their English classes, seventh-grade students at Woodland and W.T. Clarke middle schools walked a mile around their school grounds on Dec. 6 to raise funds for Island Harvest and Water for South Sudan.

As part of their English curriculum, the seventh-graders read Linda Sue Park’s “A Long Walk to Water.” The book, a New York Times bestseller, is based on the true story of Salva, an 11-year-old boy who safely led 150 boys to Kenya during the civil war in South Sudan.

 With Salva’s tale as the inspiration, the English department coordinated a water walk to bring the message closer to home while enabling students to help others in need.

Each student contributed to the cause by donating $1 to carry a gallon of water during the one-mile walk. The students’ efforts resulted in the donation of more than 600 jugs of water to Island Harvest, a hunger relief organization with the mission of “ending hunger and reducing food waste on Long Island,” and more than $4,000 was raised by students, families, teachers and administrators for Water for South Sudan, a not-for-profit organization that provides clean, safe water to the region.