SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Sixth-grade students at Thurston Middle School are taking part in the Iron Giraffe Challenge, a fundraiser that puts money towards drilling wells for clean water in South Sudan.
On Friday, Mar. 3, they took part in the walk-a-thon portion. Each student walked nearly a mile with a gallon of water to symbolize the struggle these villagers go through just to get water. They also filled most of the jugs with dirty water, because students said that's the water the villagers would end up with after all that work.
"It's important because not a lot of people know what's happening down there, and it can bring sickness and illness and can cause death," said Clotine Chase, a participating sixth-grade student.
Language Arts and Social Studies teacher, Troy Thorsby, said they came up with the idea to get involved after reading the novel, "A Long Walk to Water." He said the students were so inspired by the novel, that they decided to look into the situation even more.
Upon doing so, he said they found an organization, established by the author of the book, Salva Dut, that drills wells for clean water in the area. Thorsby said it was the students that found a way to get involved in the Iron Giraffe Challenge.
"So we're super excited that these kids are reaching out beyond their own little world to a worldwide issue that really is inspiring, and that's been awesome for us to see," said Thorsby.
Their goal is to raise $1,000. They'll raise that by having people pledge the walkers for the walk-a-thon, give donations, and attend their Papa's Pizza fundraiser on Mar. 6.