Melanie Horn wasn’t sure how much water Brookfield school students collected for donation to East Palestine.
Some donations came in cases, some in individual bottles of water. It was enough to fill the bed of a Chevy Silverado pickup truck and six rows of seats on a school bus.
“It looks like hundreds of cases of water,” Horn, a Brookfield Middle School teacher, said as select middle and elementary school students loaded the water into the truck and onto the bus.
Horn does a unit each year on water in seventh-grade to highlight the importance of clean water, and give her students the perspective that not everyone has easy access to clean water.
“You just turn on your faucet and assume that your water is safe drinking water,” she said.
You can’t make that assumption in parts of Africa, or even East Palestine, where a train derailment and subsequent controlled burn of chemicals left residents wary of their water supply.
As part of the water study, Horn’s students collected donations of water and money for which to buy water. They loaded up the vehicles May 17 and delivered the water to East Palestine High School for distribution.
“Some of the kids brought in a single bottle of water because they just don’t have the resources,” Horn said. “We said, ‘Every bottle will be donated to someone who could use clean water.’”
The 19 kids who made the trip to East Palestine on the crowded school bus included major donors from the middle and elementary school, and members of teacher Marissa Miller’s middle school Career-Based Intervention class, which helped organize the collection effort by making a Power Point presentation to students soliciting donations, and designing a banner and T-shirts.
“They’ve been wonderful,” Horn said of the CBI students.