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

As an Assistant Professor & Practicum Coordinator for TESOL and Bilingual Programs at Touro College, Graduate School of Education my focus is on the Responsibility to Touro Students (Teaching), Responsibility to the Discipline (Scholarship), and Responsibility to Touro College and Community (Service). As the Practicum Coordinator, my Teacher Professional Practice identifies those aspects of a teacher’s responsibilities that have been documented through empirical studies and theoretical research as promoting improved student learning. In the framework, the complex activity of teaching is divided into the seven New York State Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) Standards for teacher evaluation that are clustered into four domains of teaching responsibility (as framed in the Teachscape Danielson Rubric approved by New York State). I strive to inspire students to be creative and to model the love of lifelong learning by inculcating the habits and attitudes that create agile mindsets. 21st-century education extends well beyond the classroom and incorporates online learning technologies for L2 language acquisition and current global trends in teaching English as a Second Language. I participate fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline as elected Vice President and Chair Elect for the New York State, NYSTESOL organization, for the 2021 conference. Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publications (articles in Education Update), presentations, and participation in academic conferences, blogging, and other scholarly activities, including public performances and exhibitions at conferences and workshops. Of particular interest to me 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-Methodology in TESOL; E-Resources Discovery and Analysis; and Language Acquisition and the Oculus Rift in VR.

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