Rotary Project: Hands Across Water

FarmSchoolAs a participant in this cross-cultural education program, RCNY received an update on the project from the Haifa Rotary Club. Dr. Amnon Shefi of Hi-Teach was a major coordinator for this important program. Hands Across Water educated more than one thousand students of Jews and Arabs to work together in search of advanced water solutions which was the theme of the successful year.

The Rotary Hands Across Water program was run by the Haifa Rotary Club in collaboration RCNY and many other clubs and districts, harnessing the power of our Rotary collective.  Together, Rotary’s Hands Across Water cross-cultural water project emerged as an inspired science education program which has been running large water projects.  Hands Across Water  culminated in a graduation event held  in honor of the International Water Day

In 2010, a successful collaboration was established between the Rotary Club of Coral Springs-Parkland, Florida and the Rotary Club of Lod, Israel to utilize principles of water conservation within schools as a platform for promoting social interaction between various ethnic and religious communities in Israel.

HandsacrosswaterBeginning with the diverse and underserved City of Lod, a rainwater harvesting system was constructed at two anchoring institutions – the Ha Mapilim School and the Agricultural Learning Center (Farm School) – serving as a joint, demonstrative tool for ten nearby schools (three Arab Israeli/Palestinian and seven Jewish) to utilize for student’s hands-on learning. A third anchor was added with Gany Aviv School for advanced activities. The innovation and excitement generated by these efforts has served as a catalyst for further cross-cultural exchange amongst the schools, resulting in complementary sustainability projects and an adoption of a culture of conservation.

Building the Model – Hi Teach

With continued leadership and support provided by the pilot schools, surrounding community, and Rotary partners, these initial efforts served as a foundation for an expansion of the program.

In 2015, Israel was awarded its largest Global Grant from Rotary International to utilize principles of water conservation as a platform for promoting cross-cultural exchange amongst 10 schools of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. The program officially took on the title: Rotary Hands Across Waters (RHAW).

Handsacrosswater2

Initiated by the Rotary Club of Haifa, Israel and the Rotary Club of Coral Springs-Parkland, FL, RHAW is a growing partnership of over 25 leading public, private, and NGO organizations, including Technion University, Ministries of Education and Economy, local water authorities, and NASA’s GLOBE Program. RHAW is transforming the next generation of water leaders to collectively address our most pressing environmental issues.

Hands Across Water Video

 

Author: drcowinj

Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today,” determined Malcolm X at the O.A.A.U.’s [Organization of Afro-American Unity] founding forum at the Audubon Ballroom. (June 28, 1964). (X, n.d.) Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin a Fulbright Scholar completed the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP™) at Columbia University, Teachers College. Dr. Cowin served as the President of the Rotary Club of New York and Assistant Governor for New York State; long-term Chair of the Rotary United Nations International Breakfast meetings; and works as an Assistant Professor at Touro College, Graduate School of Education. Dr. Cowin has over twenty-five years of experience as an educator, tech innovator, entrepreneur, and institutional leader with a focus on equity and access to digital literacy and education in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Her extensive background in education, administration, not-for-profit leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and technology innovation provide her with unique skills and vertical networks locally and globally. Dr. Cowin participates fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline as elected Vice President and Chair-Elect for the New York State, NYS TESOL organization, for the 2021 conference. Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publications, presentations, and participation in academic conferences, blogging, and other scholarly activities, including public performances and exhibitions at conferences and workshops. Of particular interest to her are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education; Current Global Trends in TESOL; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English; E-learning; Micro and Macro-Methodologies in TESOL; E-Resources Discovery and Analysis; and Language Acquisition and the Oculus Rift in VR.

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