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Educate. Empower. Act. The mission of Project WET is to reach children, parents, educators and communities of the world with water education. We invite you to join us in educating children about the most precious resource on the planet — water.
Throughout the next four months, thousands of students and teachers in four Latin American countries will receive customized water education materials focusing on healthy habits, disease prevention and water source protection and conservation.
Customized and translated books for use in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and El Salvador
In partnership with UN-HABITAT, Project WET is currently printing the values-based WASH educational materials for distribution in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and El Salvador. The materials consist of Educators Guides featuring seven hands-on activities and colorful student companion booklets. All of the materials have been customized for various regions and cultures and have been translated into local dialects of Spanish.
The customized books and booklets are the result of Materials Development Workshops in each country to customize the educational materials to local needs and cultural contexts and field trials in schools to ensure the books are appropriately adapted for the local context. One thousand Educator Guides and 20,000 student booklets will be distributed in each country, and train-the-trainer workshops will take place over the next four months.
In addition to the materials prepared for these four countries, Project WET and UN-HABITAT are also in the process of finalizing books and booklets for Mexico. Those resources will be printed later this summer.
To learn more about Project WET's work in Latin America and the Caribbean, please contact the LAC Project Manager, Julia Nelson.
Sandra DeYonge, 1952-2011
Project WET Vice President of Publications Sandra Chisholm DeYonge passed away on June 11, 2011 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. An award-winning writer and devoted wife and mother, Sandra died at home in Stratford, Conn., where she had temporarily relocated for cancer treatments.
Sandra was born in Salisbury, Md., on February 14, 1952, to Joseph W. and Jennie M. Chisholm, joining an older brother, Joseph E. She was raised on the east coast, earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1974. She married George Robinson in 1978, and their son, Garrett Joseph Robinson, was born in 1981. Sandra and George later divorced. In 1997, Sandra married "her cowboy," Ken DeYonge. Ken and Sandra would have celebrated their 14th anniversary this month. Both Ken and Garrett remained with Sandra throughout her difficult treatments; she loved them fiercely and spoke of them often to friends and colleagues. She also delighted in horseback riding, dancing and her dogs Bear and Rex.
Although Sandra maintained strong ties to the east coast, she called Montana "the home of her heart." She earned a Master of Science degree in science education from Montana State University in 2004 and worked for the Project WET Foundation in Bozeman, Mont., for more than a decade, serving ultimately as the Vice President for Publications. At the time of her death, she was leading the revision of Project WET's cornerstone publication, the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide. She was the ultimate perfectionist, always pushing her team to achieve excellence. She pushed herself just as hard, remaining an active part of the Guide revision project throughout her treatments. She worked passionately until just before her passing.
The author of more than 16 storybooks, novels and works of nonfiction and a contributor to at least 20 Project WET books, Sandra received numerous accolades for her writing, including several Association for Educational Publishers awards. Her first book, The Last Bit Bear, A Fable, was originally published in 1984 and remains in print today. It has been called "a classic of environmental literature for children." Another of her children's books, The Rainstick, A Fable, was adapted for the stage by the National Theatre for Children and produced around the world.
A former ranger for Everglades National Park in Florida and Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming, Sandra also spent several years as the Internal Communications Senior Manager for Nestlé Waters North America, developing the company's internal communications program, creating a leadership program and writing and producing corporate publications.
Rarely seen without a beautiful smile, Sandra was at once vibrant and thoughtful, upbeat and intense. Her legacy will live on in those whom she helped educate and in the many fond memories of her family, friends and colleagues past and present.
Sandra is survived by her husband, Ken, of Whitehall, Mont.; son, Garrett, of Stratford, Conn., brother, Joseph E. (Vivian) Chisholm, Sr., of Pocomoke, Md.; nephews Joseph E. (Jane) Chisholm, Jr., of Stockton, Md., and Lee I. (Katie) Chisholm, of Girdletree, Md.; special grand-nieces Savannah, Dakota and Peyton; and special cousins, Barbara Lynch and George E. West, both of Dagsboro, Del. She was preceded in death by her father and mother.
A memorial has been created in Sandra's name to assist in educating children about water. Administered by the Project WET Foundation, the Sandra Chisholm DeYonge Children's Education Memorial Fund will be used to continue Sandi's dream of publishing new children's books and launching the Discover the Waters of Our National Parks project. Memorials may be sent to: Sandra Chisholm DeYonge Children's Education Memorial Fund; c/o Project WET Foundation; 1001 W. Oak St., Suite 210; Bozeman, MT 59715. (If you wish to donate online, please specify that you would like to support the Sandra Chisholm DeYonge Children's Education Memorial Fund).Floral tributes may be sent through The Country Flower Shop of Bozeman or through the florist of the giver's choice.
A celebration of Sandra's life will be held on Friday, July 8th, at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Bible Church, located at 3625 S. 19th Ave. in Bozeman.
The Project WET Foundation has long wanted to work with the National Park Service on a project that would explore some of the most important water treasures in the United States. Several Project WET staff members are former park rangers, and our Foundation headquarters is located just an hour or so away from America's first national park, Yellowstone. That's why we're thrilled to announce that we have signed a formal agreement with the National Park Service to launch "Discover the Waters of Our National Parks," a new educational series that could include park-related educational videos, special workshops, seminars and online courses, children's activity booklets, educator guides, posters, a web portal and other hands-on, investigative, science-based materials that meet local, state and national curriculum standards.
"The Project WET Foundation is honored to have this opportunity to partner with the National Park Service and to increase the reach of our water education materials to the millions of people who visit national parks each year," Project WET President & CEO Dennis Nelson says. "Water connects our national parks to each other and to the people of the United States through the water cycle, making national parks a perfect springboard for educating people about water."
"Water is a major theme in national parks," National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis explained. "It runs down mountains and through meadows, sits in high alpine lakes, laps against ocean shoreline parks and is precious in desert environments.
"In short," Jarvis said, "there's a water story to be told in most of the 394 parks in the national park system and we've joined with the Project WET Foundation to carry those stories to a worldwide audience of students and educators."
The formal agreement is just the first step in the process; fundraising for the project will launch soon, giving individuals, organizations and corporations all across the United States the chance to contribute to educating people about the waters of America's national parks. The upcoming Sustaining the Blue Planet: Global Water Education Conference will feature a "Discover the Waters of Our National Parks" reception on September 14th. To learn more, contact us at Project WET or our partners at the National Park Service.
We have featured guest posts from defeatDD before, and they have been kind enough to host some of our posts as well. We are excited to help them launch their social media efforts. Please check them out!
Now that we've gotten the hang of managing a website, blog, Twitter, and Flickr account, Team defeatDD is thrilled to share that we are expanding our social media horizons with Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn!
As the hands behind the keyboard of many of defeatDD's tweets, I have witnessed firsthand the power of social media in raising awareness and fostering new partnerships toward the common aim of reducing child deaths from diarrheal disease. I am particularly thrilled to launch a Facebook page because of the opportunities to reach new audiences, which I've always seen of one of the most exciting parts of my job.
I can trace that excitement back to my first interview at PATH. It's where I learned that diarrheal disease is the second leading killer of children in Africa and Southeast Asia (sadly, new stats show that diarrhea is now the top killer in Africa). This is despite that fact that we have simple, proven interventions available today. Above all, I wondered, "Why didn't I know about this?"
I enjoy communicating about this cause because I find that people - especially newcomers to the issue - react as I did: with disbelief and with immediate support for what seems like a "no-brainer" in the field of global health.
We all have a role to play. Diarrheal disease is a multi-faceted issue with many solutions. This is one of the many reasons we value partnerships, new conversations, and fresh perspectives-and why we want to use social media to bring together various groups working on different interventions toward the same goal.
We look forward to continuing the conversation on these new platforms and hope you'll add your voice, too. Thanks for "joining the movement"!
--Hope Randall, Program Assistant for defeatDD at PATH