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Drought a teachable moment

May 15, 2015
Sandra Firpo
South San Francisco

It is a major issue, one that affects us all: the California drought.

I still remember, during the drought in the 1970s, the drought was incorporated into practically every subject of my grade school.

In math we figured how much water we were using in our homes per day. In science we learned about droughts, precipitation and groundwater. In history we learned about past droughts and what impact they had. In English we wrote essays about the drought and researched ways to conserve water. Even in art, we did projects related to water. I remember this all these years later.

My youngest child is in eighth grade at one of our archdiocesan K-8 schools. At the beginning of the school year, I asked our principal if the drought would be incorporated into the curriculum. I was told there wasn’t time.

In Genesis 1:26 we’re told, God made us in his image and that we are to have dominion over all the fish in the sea and birds in the sky. In other words, we are charged with the stewardship of our Earth. Wouldn’t this fall under the curriculum of our students?

It is time to encourage our bright young children to be ready for the future and be part of the present: To awaken in them a love of learning, to show them how learning is all around them in our everyday lives.

It is an opportunity for our archbishop to be a leader of stewardship and humility as opposed to simply being viewed as a critic who is stifling dynamic education. As the Holy Father is showing us, it is time to lead by example.

This drought is certainly something that affects us all, and something that all of us should work together to overcome. 

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