Naomi Scott, an 8th grade student at Rolling Hills Prep School in San Pedro, California, has been working with her local preschool to educate the next generation on water conservation.
As part of the lesson, Naomi reads the students an age-appropriate book about water conservation and the California drought. Next, they discuss ways in which water is overused, and brainstorm solutions to these problems. She then gives them a handout with a checklist of ways to save water at home. The kids complete the checklist by doing things like turning the water off when they are brushing their teeth or encouraging their parents to water the grass for a shorter amount of time. If they complete this checklist by Naomi’s next visit, they earn a reward donated by The Home Depot. Their reward is a watering can that they decorate with stickers and use to capture runoff water from their kitchen sink to water their plants. Preschool director, Maria Olshansky remarked, “Our preschool teachers were impressed with how Naomi created a curriculum that kept the attention-span of active four-year-olds while teaching them important and hands-on lessons. Many of our parents were very excited that Naomi was teaching the kids about caring for the environment.”
After two successful years of this program, Naomi is hoping to branch out to other preschools and community centers and there by reach a larger population of children. Her goal is to raise a generation of forward thinkers and environmentalists. Naomi explains, “I believe giving children an early education can start them on a lifelong awareness of water issues.”
Editor’s Note: We met Naomi as part of the 2018 National Marine Educators Association Youth Conference and are proud to support her work on water education, as well as her plans to expand her work by engaging local students in the EarthEcho Water Challenge.