Thursday, June 27, 2013

Learning to Empathize

Montessori students learn to be global citizens by taking a symbolic walk to better understand the daily challenges others face in different parts of the world.

On May 24, students from The Boyd School Broadlands & Westfields Campuses joined together to bring awareness to the plight of the people of the Azawak region in Africa. Working with Amman Imman: Water is Life, the students raised funds that will go directly towards the construction of wells and boreholes so that the people in Sahel area of West Africa will have access to fresh water. In partnership with local communities, global partners and school children from around the world, Amman Imman has brought four borehole wells to Niger's Azawak region already, offering more than 100,000 people and their livestock a sustained supply of clean water. 2013 marks the seventh time the families from The Boyd School have partnered with Amman Imman raising thousands of dollars towards this effort. This year alone, students and families from The Boyd School raised over $2,100.

A Walk for Water is a fundraising event that symbolizes the 35 mile trek children living in the Azawak sometimes travel to bring water home for their families. To bring a better understanding of how difficult this trip can be, The Boyd School students, parents, and teachers hiked the trails at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly. Although the walk was only a fraction of the distance and hardly the same harsh environment that many children in Niger’s desert must journey for water, to The Boyd School students who have been learning about Niger’s water crisis in their classes, the event symbolized their solidarity with the Nigerien children. As a token of their appreciation, the Nigerian children sent handcrafted gifts to some of The Boyd School students that have been participating in the events for numerous years.

Amman Imman: Water Is Life is a Washington, D.C.-based organization. To learn more about the organization, visit

The Boyd School is one of five schools in Virginia that is fully accredited by AdvancED (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and the American Montessori Society. For more information on Montessori education and The Boyd School visit: