Fifth graders at Shorecrest were treated to a visit by Sidney Wall ‘13, who is serving in the Peace Corps in Lesotho, a small country in southern Africa. Sidney, her mother, one of her brothers and few of her other family members attended Shorecrest. Her mother, Beth Bartlett ‘85, currently teaches Upper School math. Home for a brief visit, Sidney took time to visit the fifth grade classes to share about the Peace Corps and Lesotho’s culture and geography.
Miss Wall’s presentation ties to the fifth grade curriculum. Fifth grade teachers are helping the students make connections across the curriculum. In Social Studies, students are learning about the physical and human geography of Africa. In English, students are reading “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park, a realistic fiction novel set in Africa, and in Science and Math students will engage in a water filter design challenge that might even help them in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. In Spanish, students will discuss the theory that the decline of the Mayan civilization was linked to water issues.
Students learned from Ms. Wall about the water crisis in Lesotho. It was amazing to learn what Ms. Wall does in her daily life about this crisis. She does not have running water (or electricity) in her small hut, so she needs to walk about a quarter of a mile to fill a bucket a few times each week. Sometimes the tap is frozen, so she needs to walk to another place that has a pump. But often that water is dirty and must be boiled and run through a filter. We learned that she was given a water filter by the Peace Corps to filter the water so it was safe to drink.
Students also learned that she is a fifth grade teacher in Lesotho. When you apply for the Peace Corps you can ask for a job in a specific country or tell them you are willing to go to any country that has a need. Ms. Wall was willing to go wherever the Peace Corps sent her, and take on any task, and they gave her a position teaching English at a school in Lesotho. She loves teaching the students. While she teaches she speaks some Sesotho, the language in Lesotho, but mostly teaches in English.
Students learned about the physical features of Lesotho, how mountainous it is. They also learned that there is a highway that goes around the perimeter of Lesotho. Ms. Wall travels on a paved road to get her groceries, but has to travel two hours each way using public transportation. Sometimes she shares the ride with goats and chickens! She only does this about once every two weeks.
Ms. Wall was an enthusiastic presenter who answered all of our questions. Students learned so much from her. We want to say thank you, but it is so expensive to send things to Lesotho, so the students are making a Google Slide presentation for her. Each student is creating a slide to say thank you (Kea Leboha) for teaching us. Each student is including a picture that is hand drawn or created on Notability. Ms. Janack will share it digitally with Ms. Wall and she’ll have it instantly! Kea leboha, Sidney Wall!