Students Learn How to Protect Earth’s Water Resources
World Water Monitoring Day Teaches Responsibility
Contact: Michelle Beller • JNF Educations Programs Manager • 703-888-2235 • firstname.lastname@example.org
September 3, 2008 -- Two Jewish day schools in Maryland were chosen to help kick off World Water Monitoring Day™ (WWMD) with Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) on Thursday, September 18.
Students from Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School's fourth grade class (Baltimore) and students from 4th-6th grade at HebrewDay School (Silver Spring) will test water and enjoy other water-related environmental activities from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Hains Point Park, Washington, DC.
“Over the past few years our Beth Tfiloh students have taken part in WWMD, not only here at the kick-off, but as part of our ongoing efforts towards conservation education," said Mary Corton, Lower School Science Teacher at Beth Tfiloh Dahan. "We have monitored a pond on campus for water quality and celebrated a school-wide WWMD with activities that stress the importance of water conservation. Our children have come to understand that we are all responsible for maintaining a clean water supply.”
WWMD is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Begun in 2002, WWMD is coordinated during the weeks surrounding October 18, the day designated as the focal point of the celebration each year to correspond with the anniversary of the U.S. Clean Water Act.
This is the 2nd annual kick-off event; events are taking place all across the world. This event will feature remarks from various dignitaries and leaders, water monitoring of the Potomac River, and educational exhibits and hands-on learning stations led by JNF, Amazon Conservation Team, Earth Day Network, Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital, Naturalist Audubon Society, U.S. Forest Service, and many others.JNF participates in WWMD through a grant, now in its fifth year, from the USDA Forest Service that provides water monitoring kits to Jewish schools in the U.S.and Israel.
Kits can be ordered through September 28 by going to www.jnf.org/waterkits and this year, JNF has added even more links to educational resources and materials designed to enhance teachers’ ability to integrate the study of water and science with the Jewish holidays of Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret and the importance of water in Israel. Schools that participate in this program will need one or more water monitoring kits (depending on the number of classes and students). Each kit allows 50 individual tests.
The Forest Service grant enables Jewish students in both Israel and the United States to test water quality in streams, rivers, lakes and coastal areas for dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity/clarity and temperature. In addition, the grant enables JNF to produce a special edition of its children’s newsletter, A New Leaf, which will be devoted to water and water monitoring and distributed to Jewish schools nationwide.
“Water is a basic human right, the essence of life, and no matter who you are or where you live, clean, pure water is essential for drinking, hygiene, agriculture, commerce, and recreation,” said Stanley M. Chesley, president of JNF of America. “It is essential that we teach our children about the importance of water quality and by partnering with Israeli schools, we are providing a link to the Jewish homeland. It resonates even more this year given the water crisis in the Middle East .”
WWMD offers communities around the world a chance to positively impact the health of rivers, lakes, estuaries, and other water bodies. In 2007, 46,000 participants from 43 countries tested four key indicators of water quality: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. This year, data will be collected from September 18 - October 18 and entered it into a global database by December 18.
“The message is simple,” said Robbie Savage, founder of WWMD. “The demands for clean water are many, yet there is no more water on the planet today than there was when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. It is critical that individuals become aware of the ways in which they can impact water quality.”
Caption: Students from the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School monitoring the pH and temperature of the Potomac River as part of World Water Monitoring Day Kick Off Event 2007.
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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.
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