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Absorbing Water Messages in Interactive Festival
  by Luiza Moczarski  
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Students from 46 schools are participating at the St. Thomas-Elgin Children's Water Festival this week at Pinafore Park in St. Thomas from May 13 to 16, 2014. Some 3,500 grade two, three, four and five students are learning about water through dynamic displays, hands-on experiments and lively entertainment.

"Our aim for the Water Festival is to offer a hands-on format which allows students to discover the importance of water in their classroom, home and community," says Water Festival Coordinator Luiza Moczarski. "We have received an overwhelming response from schools registering their classes this year; which confirms the need for this event. The lessons these children bring back to their schools and homes will help protect our water resources in the future."

The goal of the St. Thomas-Elgin Children's Water Festival is to provide a hands-on learning environment in which students in grades 3-5 from the City of St. Thomas, Elgin County and surrounding areas discover the importance of water in their classroom, home and community. [Port Stanley Public School is not included in the list of schools to participate this year.]

Water resource professionals from government agencies, environmental organizations, private business and high school students are presenting 47 activities on water topics, including drinking water, groundwater, watersheds, surface water and water quality. Students are participating in activities, such as "Lather Up" which puts students in outdoor shower stalls to learn about water conservation, "A Bird's Eye View" linking raptor habitat and food supply, with the protection of water, and new for this year, a bilingual day, offering selected stations in the French language.

The Festival is supported by the TD Friends of the Environment, the Green Land Community Trust, RBC Blue Water Project, the City of St. Thomas, Thames Valley District School Board, Digital Echidna and numerous local and regional organizations. A list of sponsors, and other information about the Children's Water Festival, can be found at www.childrenswaterfestival.ca.

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