Water for Peace

The Water for Peace Project was a service learning activity that connected preschool children from MN to a school in Iraq that was in need of a water filter for clean drinking water.  The project took place over several months and included all areas of learning.  It encouraged an appreciation for other cultures and an understanding about children around the world.

We began with an in-depth study of the country of Iraq.  The children helped locate it on a map and researching for several weeks we explored the landscape, plants, animals, climate and living conditions in the country.  We also discussed the learning environment of Iraqi schools and compared the children living in Iraq to those living in the United States.  During an exploration of the culture, children listened and danced to traditional music from Iraq and discussed images of housing and typical Muslim dress.


After a knowledge base about Iraq was established, we analyzed the importance of water as a natural resource.  The children gained an understanding of the importance of water, the difference between clean and dirty water and the difficulties in getting clean water in some areas around the world.  One activity included brainstorming all the ways a typical preschooler in the United States would use water during a day.  Then, for a one hour period of time, the preschoolers placed a sticker on the chart every time they used water.  This visual helped solidify the amount of water that is used in a classroom during a short amount of time.  That same day children were encouraged to carry water from one end of the classroom to another.  This represented what life would be like of our school did not have clean running water.

When it was time to begin raising money for the water filter, the children brainstormed chores they could help out with around the classroom to earn money.  Teachers gave specific money for certain chores.  Then families were encouraged to take part by setting up chores for the children to work on at home.  Children felt a sense of accomplishment and pride when bringing in money they had earned to donate to the cause.  Not only did they learn about responsibilities around the house, but they were gaining knowledge about giving to charity.

Money was collected for almost 2 months.  At the end, the children helped sort and count the money that was raised.  During this activity, several money and math concepts were introduced.  The preschool unit at the school was able to raise the $250.00 that was needed to buy the entire water filter for a school in Iraq.  The filter was sent to Iraq with several pictures of the school and notes created by the preschoolers.  When the filter was installed in the Iraqi school, those children sent notes back to the preschoolers.