AIM 1st through 5th grade students wrapped up their ongoing service learning project and fundraising activities for the World Bicycle Relief program in April by participating in activities designed to emulate a student's walk to school in Africa without a bicycle and the weighted chore of fetching water from a water pump.
During the simulation, students were divided into two groups; while one group of students walked for a mile, the other group of students carried varying sizes of containers of water to and from a point on the trail. When each group finished, they switched to the alternative activity.
At the same time as children walked along the Schuylkill River Trail, Lower School Teacher Doug Markgraf and 8th grade students in AIM's Riding for Focus program rode their bikes on the trail to see how much distance they could cover in the same amount of time it took for the students to walk a mile. The children were amazed to discover that, with a bike, students could cover six times the distance as the students who walked. They also realized how much easier it is to transport water jugs on the back of a bike instead of hand-carrying them over miles of dirt roads!
This ongoing service learning opportunity provided students and faculty with diverse learning opportunities whether harvesting herbs and making and selling fresh pesto and tzatziki, talking via computer with a new friend in Ghana, Africa to learn about his multiple hour walks to school each day, and 4th Grade teacher Eryn Doroshow's trip to Ghana over Spring Break to work with teachers in a new school. Overall AIM students raised enough funds to purchase at least 10 bicycles.
During the simulation day events students were able to meet a World Bicycle Relief volunteer and see the type of sturdy bicycles made in Africa that are provided to recipients.