Chicago Teens Learn About the Global Water Crisis
Skylar — a 17 year old from Chicago, Illinois — founded the very first Surge for Water high school club at Lane Tech College Prep, where she is a senior this year. Here’s an update from Skylar on the club’s activities and what they have learned.
I wanted to give an update about Surge Eco Club, the club I created at my high school, Lane Tech College Prep, in partnership with Surge. The purpose of the club is to educate students about the water crisis and to inspire them to find ways to help.
I kicked off Surge Eco Club during my school’s “Club Days”: three days at the beginning of the school year where clubs promote their causes, and students browse and sign up for whatever they are interested in. I spent all three days promoting Surge Eco Club to thousands of students (Lane Tech has over 4,200 students! Pretty crazy right?) One hundred people signed up, and Surge Eco Club has around 20 dedicated members.
I was thrilled to see the members not only show up to our first meeting, but also actually want to learn more about the water crisis and ways they can help, and that’s what we’re doing. We have club meetings every other Monday after school and participate in activities to raise awareness of the water crisis and to help those in need. Some of the activities we’ve done so far include:
- Creating and playing games that incorporate different fun facts about the importance of water.
- Making beeswax candles while discussing fundraising ideas to support Surge.
- Making Care Kits (decorated bags filled with various hygiene necessities given to children in need through Surge’s field work).
- Creating collages out of magazine cut-outs that express our love and appreciation for water. We went around the circle and shared our collages and shared how they were meaningful to us.
- Learning about the challenges faced by those who do not have access to clean water and ways that we can conserve water. We talked about how fortunate we are to be able to turn on the tap and have clean water come out. We discussed trying to go a day without clean water and how challenging that would be.
- Planting basil and thyme seeds into individual pots to represent our hope for change and a healthy future. We talked about watering the plants and watching them grow. Everyone wrote a “water wish” on a scrap piece of paper and placed it under the soil. We talked about the symbolic wish growing as the seed grows when being watered. We shared that as you water your plant, you are reminded of how lucky you are to have clean water.
By participating in various club activities, the members not only become aware of the major water crisis but are inspired to help.
Starting this club has impacted my life in many ways.
Every now and then, I forget and I still will take a long shower, but then I am jolted into remembering and I shorten it. I realize how grateful I am: when I go to a restaurant and get a glass of water automatically, or when I can flush the toilet, or wash my clothes. Before, I kind of took all that for granted. I’m more aware of it now and more empathetic to others who just don’t have that luxury. I usually fill a water bottle instead of buying a brand new one; I shut off the water when I brush my teeth, stuff like that.
What I liked about starting this club was the group was able to become aware of so many things we take for granted. We could share ideas of fundraising and know that the little bit we were doing was helping others. I really want to go visit places where I can actually see the people I have helped.
I love how involved the members of Surge Eco Club have become and how supportive they are of the club. It’s my hope that Surge Eco Club and its members can inspire other teens to start their own clubs and/or fundraising/awareness groups for Surge!
Want to join Skylar? Contact Surge here to start your own fundraising or awareness campaign — any and all ideas are welcome!