In March, 6th grade teams at Marlowe Middle School held their third annual WaterStep shoe drive. WaterStep is a non-profit organization that helps fund safe drinking water projects worldwide. MMS students and families filled more than seven wardrobe-sized boxes with more than 500 pairs of shoes!

According to WaterStep representative Lucy, “By the help of your students, they have upgraded the water pump and provided general maintenance to the system that will ensure safe water for up to 1000+ people every day for many more years to come. From the bottom of all of our hearts here in Uganda… THANK YOU!” Not only are the shoes kept out of landfills, but WaterStep sells the shoes to an exporter and funds received help bring clean water to those in need. WaterStep has helped bring clean water to over 60 countries worldwide.

Sixth grade social studies teachers – Mr. Starnes, Mr. Danner and Mr. Krause – challenged students to research those who are “changemakers” after reading the book “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park. According to Mr. Starnes: “This shoe drive provided students with the opportunity to be change makers themselves. We also discussed that it is our job to help, even when others’ problems don’t directly affect us.” 

“The shoe-drive and unit on refugees helped make me more aware of what life is like in other parts of the world (specifically South Sudan),” said MMS 6th grader Dua Khan. It gives you knowledge of what other people have and don’t have. The unit helped me realize how grateful I should be for having the things I have.”

According to MMS 6th grader Gianna Mangan, “Helping those in need makes me feel good about myself. We are fortunate to be able to help, and finding old shoes in my house that we don’t use anymore was an easy way to do that! I am grateful to learn about refugees and help give back to people in need!”