Allisonville Elementary teacher Steve Auslander has taken IB Action to his students, and, in the process, lifetime lessons have been learned that will have an impact for a long, long time. In 2012, Mr. Auslander’s class set out to build a relationship with a class nearly 5,000 miles away in Guinea on the continent of Africa. Through an organization called School to School (STS), Mr. Auslander set up a pen pal account where students at Allisonville would exchange letters with a class in Guinea. Making the project even more exciting was the fact that letters between the students had to be translated as the Guinea native language is French. The most exciting element was yet to come. Through communicating with the class in Guinea, Allisonville students became aware that drinking water did not come easy for their far away friends. They learned in fact that the only fresh, safe water during the student’s day at school was more than 2 kilometers away. Thus began a fund raising effort by Mr. Auslander’s class that would include the efforts of several other 4th and 5th grade classes at Allisonville. The goal: to fund the well. Fund raising projects included talent shows, popcorn sales, lemonade stands and more. “It was a true team effort of the 4th and 5th grades here at Allisonville,” said Mr. Auslander. “It just shows that kids can make a difference. Because of a motivated and caring group of 4th and 5th grade Allisonville students, an entire African community will enjoy clean drinking water.” Through the many different fundraisers, Allisonville students raised over $3,000. Today, the well has been constructed and not only do students benefit, but so does an entire community. Below is the account of the well construction by Mamounan Kpokomou, the School to School National Coordinator in Guinea. Please also visit the STS website, recognizing Allisonville students and Mr. Auslander for their support. http://www.sts-international.org/Donor_Allisonville.html
The construction of Nasser well
June 4, 2013
By: Mamounan KPOKOMOU
STS National Coordinator, Guinea
The Nasser well is situated behind the classrooms, two meters from the wall. This well was financed by Allisonville Elementary School, an active participant of STS’s pen pal program, who spearheaded a variety of fundraising initiatives in 2012 to make this possible.
The completion of this work began by the awareness of the local communities to the importance of clean water in daily life. At once, local partners banded together and worked together to assemble 12 cubic meters of sand, 6 cubic meters of gravel and a cubic meter of granite. In a week’s time, the students helped their parents gather these materials in the schoolyard.
The well digger, along with the beneficiaries, proceeded to select the location of the improved well. Assisted by his workers, he dug the water table at a depth of 18 meters. The construction of the well was followed by the manufacturing of nozzles to be used to protect the water from the well, thereby preventing the earth walls of the hole to fall into the well water.
The nozzles, once dried, were stacked in the cylindrical hole with strings designed for this kind of work, which requires great physical effort. The pulley system was also constructed and arranged above the wells. A ladle with a plastic container and a rope was installed for the pulley so that even the youngest members of the community can fetch water easily.
This work would not be possible if it weren’t for STS and its fellow partner, Allisonville Elementary School.
The Nasser well will serve about 285 students, including 134 girls, and the surrounding population estimated at about 300. There are about 30 families that reside in this community.
We would like to gratefully acknowledge Allisonville Elementary School for its contribution. Nasser is one more community that will benefit from access to clean water. Our gratitude to the generous donors will speak at first by the care that the community will take to the well to ensure its longevity.