Water Fest hopes to get students’ feet wet

Published 12:05 pm Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Alabama Clean Water Partnership and the Chilton County Soil & Water Conservation District are working together to host the first annual Chilton County Water Fest.

Every fourth grader in the county will be invited to the festival, which will be March 15, 2013. The 640 students will travel to the Clanton Performing Arts Complex at Jefferson State Community College to use the classrooms there, all of which have been donated for use free of charge.

Though this will be the first Water Fest for Chilton County, about 28 counties across the state host them annually.

The event will start at 9 a.m. and will have three 25-minute sessions revolving around the water cycle—Fantastic Filtration, the Edible Aquifer and Water Cycle Bracelets. And, though plans are still in the works, the committee is hoping to have a water quality related magic show.

Littleton said, of the classes: “It’s all just a lot of fun. Edible Aquifer involves making an aquifer out of ice cream. We use ice cream for the earth and sprinkles to represent trash. It’s a fun way to teach kids how things like that work.”

Glenn Littleton, the chairman of the committee organizing the festival, is hoping everyone who attends will learn something interesting about the cleaning and filtration of water and how everyone can work together to keep it clean.

“Litter is an issue—always. Throw a piece of trash out and it will flow somewhere, to our water. We think water is cheap, but everything we do to it makes it cost more to clean, which means the more we contaminate it the more costly it is to drink. We’re teaching kids at an early age that even the smallest things they do will impact everybody—negatively or positively,” said Littleton.

The committee is still in the planning phase, but, according to Littleton, things are flowing smoothly so far. The next step is finding enough sponsors and volunteers for the event—they will need about 60 or 70 volunteers.

Sponsors are important, Littleton said, because the entire event will be free for everyone invited. From the T-shirts to the bus drivers transporting the children, he said all costs will be taken care of. Students will just be expected to bring their own lunch.

In September, the committee will host a countywide contest for the design of the T-shirts that students will be given. All fourth grade students will be asked to draw a picture illustrating the festival’s theme. The winner will receive $25, $50 for their class and their design will be printed on the T-shirts.

“It’s a great educational outreach, and we’re really looking forward to it,” said Littleton. “If everything goes well, we hope to make it something students can look forward to every year.”