The Eastern Shore Soil and Water Conservation District’s Education Director, Julie Head, along with Renee Lee, a language arts teacher at Nandua Middle School, and Kathleen Overman Blessing, a science teacher at Arcadia Middle School, developed a cross-curricular literature unit this summer based on the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.
The book is about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way. help teach students about the importance of safe drinking water.
The materials created by Ms. Head and team have been used with 6th graders at Nandua Middle School and the TAG students at Northampton Middle School this year to help students understand how important a safe, clean supply of drinking water is. In addition, eight homeschool students in Northampton County attended a book club run by the Education Director. If you have a group that would be interested in having an in-person or virtual book club based on this book, please contact Julie Head at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-302-4433.