Sunset Stinkers strike again

Students hold shower strike to raise funds, learn about water issues

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship
Sunset Heights second graders gathered Wednesday afternoon to mark the mid-point of their shower strike fund raiser. The Sunset Stinkers, as the students are known, have so far raised $8,000 to support Well Aware, an international nonprofit that provides innovative and sustainable solutions to water scarcity and contamination in Africa. Last year, the students raised $23,000. Two wells in Kenya bear the name of the Sunset Stinkers.

Those Sunset Stinkers are at it again! They are keeping their pledge to not shower for a whole week.

The second grade students at Sunset Heights are once again holding their annual shower strike this week. The students agreed not to shower as they raise funds to support Well Aware, an international nonprofit that provides innovative and sustainable solutions to water scarcity and contamination in Africa.

This is the seventh year Sunset Heights students have taken part in the fundraiser and learning experience. In 2012, now retired second-grade teacher, Dawn Scholtens, decided to ask her students to participate in Shower Strike as a way for them to learn about places they have never heard of and people and circumstances they didn’t know existed. Last year, Well Aware founder Sarah Evans visited Sunset Heights to honor Scholtens with a Teaching Inspiration award.

During the award presentation last year, Scholtens offered these thoughts to the students: “I want you students to remember two things — in your life, you’ve done something that’s made a difference to other people and I want you to remember how good it feels.”

Deanna, a second grade student, said she was glad to be helping others.

“I think it’s a good thing, helping people in Kenya,” she said.

Another student, Alexia Hores, said it hasn’t been too difficult staying out the shower this week.

“It’s been ok,” she said.

Evan Christian said he’s learned a lot about people in Africa.

“And I think it’s good helping people who only have dirty water to drink,” he said. The students said they’ve learned that many people in Kenya have to walk miles in order to get water for drinking and cooking.

Last year, the students raised more than $23,000 during the shower strike and there are two wells in Kenya with the Sunset Stinkers name attached, according to teacher Sarah Holm.

This year, the second graders have raised just over $8,000 to date. But there’s still time to increase that total.

“We go until Monday, so people still have time to donate,” said Holm. Those wishing to donate to the project can visit the Sunset Heights Facebook Page and follow the link provided. Or they can visit sunsetstinkers.showerstrike.org.

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