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A mile in their shoes

Students from Diamond Path Elementary School walk with gallon jugs of water as part of a fundraiser to send money to a school in Kenya.

When the students at Diamond Path Elementary School set out to walk a mile in someone else's shoes, they took the saying pretty literally.

Throughout the day May 31, students at all grade levels gathered outside the building, hoisted milk jugs filled with water and set off on a hike down a nearby path. Along the way, they stopped to learn facts about people who live in areas where there is no running water. People for whom long walks to fetch water are a daily necessity.

The walks were part of a service project for a White Bear Lake-based group called H2O for Life. The group pairs local schools with schools in developing countries as a way to raise money to dig wells or otherwise improve access to clean water and better hygiene.

Before students set off on their walk, student council advisor Jane Eaton talks to them about what they're doing, and about how kids in some countries have to make such a walk even if the weather isn't as sunny and warm as it was for students last Friday.

This is the fourth year Diamond Path has participated in the project and the third year students have done the walk.

This year's fundraising efforts will go to build a water catchment system for a school in Kenya as well as provide educational material about personal hygiene. The school set a goal of $4,000 and had brought in $3,400 by Friday. Students collected pledges for their walk, and there were in-school events where students could pay a fee to take their shoes off in class or wear a hat at school.

Eaton said she expected students to reach their goal.