April 2, 2019
Walsh students participating in the Blouin Global Scholars freshman cohort volunteered to mentor 170 middle school students at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium World Water Day on March 22, sponsored by Drink Local. Drink Tap., Inc. (DLDT).
The Walsh volunteers spent the day at the Cleveland Aquarium operating interactive learning stations that highlighted different water related topics such as osmosis, clean oceans and water ecosystems. Walsh University was the only Northeast Ohio college represented at the event.
The Br. Francis Blouin Global Scholars Program at Walsh University provides students with a unique opportunity to become part of a community of students and faculty dedicated to using scholarship and service to address a global theme of their choosing. Led by Faculty Director and Associate Dean of Experiential Learning Rachel Hosler, the freshman Global Scholars have chosen access to safe water as their cohort theme.
“Our cohort was given the topic of Water Quality and Access from the beginning, but we all quickly sympathized with the issue and responded to it in our own way. The diversity in our majors allowed us to look at different aspects of water issues, both locally and globally,” said Kirk Allison, chemical engineering major. “This experience helped me to understand how important community events are in educating people young and old alike on topics that affect everyone. I hope the students gained an interest in social issues that they will keep with them.”
In 2010, the United Nations recognized the right to safe and clean drinking water as a human right. This means that everyone in the world should have access to safe water for personal use including for drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes and food and personal and household cleanliness.
“We are devoted to increasing awareness of water issues from locally in the Great Lakes to Internationally in places such as Tanzania,” said Brielle Therrien, psychology major with minors in biology and Spanish. “My favorite part of World Water Day was interacting with the kids through the different activities as well as watching their excitement in reaction to learning about water and how important it is for everyone. For persistent change to take place in efforts to save our planet’s water resources, awareness must be implemented in young child education so that the issue is no longer out of sight out of mind.”
World Water Day was first celebrated in 1993 after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development recommended an international celebration to focus attention on the importance of freshwater. In 2016, more than 500 events taking place in 1000 countries celebrated World Water Day.
This was the eighth year that DLDT partnered with the Greater Cleveland Aquarium for a day of water education, celebration and awards thanks to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. This year, 2019 marked Drink Local. Drink Tap’s 10th year celebrating World Water Day in Northeast Ohio.