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School Education Program

Program Description
“Our Water” is an innovative curriculum for 4th grade that combines visual, literary, and performing arts instruction with water conservation lessons from the Water Education Foundation’s “California Water Story.”

BENEFITS:

To Sponsoring BAWUA Member

To School District, Schools & Students

·        Fulfills BMP #8 at a low cost and flexible levels of implementation

·        Provides free arts instruction from trained arts educators

·        Requires no additional agency staff resources

·        Stimulates creative approaches in other curriculum areas

·        Enhances agency’s water conservation image

·        Requires no additional teachers or overhead

·        Creates “spillover” effect for water conservation messages to participants’ families

·        Generates positive community exposure and support through a final event showcasing the students’ creative projects

For more information about this unique program, please contact:
    Ms. Nicole Sandkulla
    Bay Area Water Users Association
    650-349-3000

Background:

“Our Water” was developed by Kollage Community School for the Arts in Belmont in response to a request from Mid-Peninsula Water District for a creative and user-friendly approach to water conservation education at the elementary school level. The result is an integrated curriculum combining water conservation lessons from the Water Education Foundation’s “ California Water Story” curriculum for 4th grade, with instruction in visual, performing, and literary arts. The program was implemented in all 4th grade classes in the Belmont/Redwood Shores School District in February of 2001. Implementation of the program was expanded in the 2001/2002 school year to schools in the Burlingame, Foster City, and Laguna Salida (Pacifica) school districts. In the Spring of 2002, Mid- Peninsula Water District won the prestigious ACWA Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence, an annual program that recognizes outstanding achievements by public water agencies, for the Our Water Program.

Purpose:

The purpose of “Our Water” is to enhance learning about water conservation education concepts through creative as well as logical processes.

Goals:

Program goals include demonstrable evidence of students’ ability to apply critical thinking and creative expression to water conservation concepts; improved water conservation awareness as measured on pre-and post-program tests; and enhanced appreciation of and interest in the arts by both teachers and students at participating schools.

Implementation Process:

The “Our Water” curriculum is presented in 50-minute sessions conducted once a week over 9 weeks. Each school or class is assigned an arts instructor in visual art, dance, or poetry. Pre- and post-tests are given to students to measure the effectiveness of the program in enhancing their water conservation awareness. At the conclusion of the program, a “culminating event” may be held to showcase what the students have created during this learning experience. In the case of the Belmont schools, the culminating event was held at the College of Notre Dame Theater. Papier-mache animals and artwork were displayed in the lobby, and a large-scale mural designed by students from one school served as the backdrop for poetry readings and dance performance by students from other participating schools.

Cost:

Cost of the program varies according to the number of schools and classrooms that will be participating. A tiered-cost plan provides budgeting flexibility. The cost ranges from $740-$880 per classroom, depending on the number of classrooms to be included. This cost includes the instructor’s time and materials, program manager time, and copy of California Water Story curriculum (provided to classroom teacher).

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