Looking beyond the comforts of the developed world to the poverty of the third world, Killeen High School students lugged gallon-jugs around the Buckley Stadium track.

Admittedly a far cry from the daily travails of hauling water from remote wells and streams, the lesson still seemed to hit home.

Geography teacher Jennifer Larkin and two of her peers came up with the idea for the engaging simulation four years ago and have made the Water Walk an annual tradition in their classes.

On Monday, about 560 students cycled through stations set up beneath the home side of Buckley Stadium.

One station called on each student to fill two gallon-jugs with water from a large plastic swimming pool and carry the jugs two laps around the track — one-half mile.

“We’re raising awareness, trying to understand what it is like for children and families who don’t live close to sources of water,” said sophomore Littzy Paredes Brignoni.

“Carrying the water is not even close to what they go through,” she said, “going up and down hills and through narrow places.”

That sort of empathy is what the geography teachers were going for with the compelling lesson.

In addition to hauling water jugs around the track, the students spent time reading facts about the global water crisis, a reality that leads to a wide range of preventable disease and hardship.

Statistics indicate a child dies every 60 seconds from waterborne diseases. Illness often leads to loss of income. In many cases, women and children carry out the water collection duties, risking missed schooling and exposure to injury or assault.

During the activity, students also wrote and shared their own reflections and pondered solutions to water scarcity.

“They like it,” Larkin said. “It’s different, something unique for them to remember.”

Over the past weekend, students and teachers tracked their personal water usage. Larkin said she used 76 gallons of water a day on her own. The average for residents of developed countries is 101 gallons of water a day.

“We’re learning about water scarcity,” said freshman Madeleine Jones. “Carrying water imitates children carrying water for their families. It’s sad to think that kids 6 or 7 years old carry four or five gallons of water at a time.”

Students appreciated their teachers’ efforts to bring the global issue and the academic lesson to light.

“It was intricate,” Jones said. “They put a lot of thought into it.”

“It’s a good lesson to understand what’s happening in the world,” Paredes Brignoni said. “We’re seeing what’s happening in the world, not just in our own worlds, not just with ourselves.”

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