From A to Z, 25 Schools to Attend the Nebraska Children's Groundwater Festival

From A to Z, 25 Schools to Attend the Nebraska Children's Groundwater Festival


(GRAND ISLAND, NE)- The Central Platte Natural Resources District will host the 27th annual Nebraska Children's Groundwater Festival in one week; with schools from Zion to be in attendance. Twenty-five schools from 18 towns and cities are scheduled to attend the festival in four-hour increments.

The festival is the only groundwater festival that invites students from across the entire state. Held in Grand Island, the Nebraska Children's Groundwater Festival was the first to be formed nationally and has been replicated in 41 states in the United States and in Mexico, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. To this day, the Nebraska Children's Groundwater Festival remains the model for other states nationwide.

The largest school attending this year is Morton Elementary of Hastings; planning to bring 120 students. Some of the schools traveling the farthest are Chase County of Imperial traveling over 3 ½ hours to attend, Sandhills Elementary of Halsey, Platte Valley Christian of North Platte, and Franklin Elementary of Franklin. Over 800 students are scheduled to attend from 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

In order to schedule each school group, coordinators Kelly Cole and Marcia Lee ask teachers what time they would like to arrive and depart the festival. That teacher's schedule is then selected to include five in-depth classrooms that teach different aspects of groundwater, one stage show, a time slot to play water education games and visit booths in the outside Exhibit Hall, and a lunch time slot. This year there are 31 professional water and conservation experts teaching classroom sessions, three stage show presenters and 11 activities in the outside Exhibit Hall.
Marcia Lee, festival coordinator, said preparing each school's schedule is of utmost importance because the Central Platte NRD wants each student and teacher to learn about all aspects of groundwater such as conservation, groundwater uses, pollution and personal conservation habits.

Lee said that each student is sent a pre-test that has questions ranging from simple to difficult regarding groundwater and natural resources with a combination of multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and true/false sections. After attending the Festival, instructors are asked to give the post-test to the students and to send them back to CPNRD. Based on pre/post test results, evaluations, and a behavioral impact study, the festival has demonstrated its positive impact on children's awareness, knowledge, and ultimately behavior, in groundwater protection.
Central Platte NRD is the main sponsor of the event by providing $10,000 in financial support and two staff members that coordinate the event. The Festival Committee fundraises an additional $15,000 to allow students to attend the festival at no cost. This year, due to area business and private donations, the Festival Committee is able to provide free sack lunches to all students, presenters and volunteers; which totals 1,300 sack lunches. The Festival Committee's goal was to raise enough funds to offset any financial hardship for schools that are attending.

Classroom activities will be from 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. throughout both campuses and the outside tent. Activities, room numbers and presenters are attached in the Festival Program. 
Each classroom has a schedule on the outside of their room- feel free to visit any of the classrooms even if they are in session. If you are interested in particular presentations or specific school schedules, feel free to contact Marcia or Kelly for those schedules or ask the registration volunteers the day of the event.
Media Packets will be available at the registration areas at both CCC and College Park campuses. The packets will include a program of the event, description of activities taking place and maps of the campuses. 
Aurora Home School Heartland, Henderson
Blue Hill Howard, Grand Island
Burwell Immanuel Lutheran, Polk
Centennial, Utica Lincoln, Grand Island
Central Valley, Wolbach Morton Elementary, Hastings
Chase County, Imperial Platte Valley, Grand Island
David City Platte Valley Christian, North Platte
Emmanuel-Faith, York Sandhills, Hasley
Engleman, Grand Island Stolley Park, Grand Island
Fillmore Central, Fairmont Stuart
Franklin Trinity Lutheran, Grand Island
Grand Island Christian Zion Lutheran, Kearney
Hastings Home School

Service and Volunteer of the Year awards will be announced at the Volunteer Ice Cream Social to be held at CCC in Room 355 at 3:30 p.m. just following the event. The Don Nelson Service Award will be awarded to the Chief Industries Inc of Grand Island and JoNon Rieke will receive the Volunteer of the Year Award.
KELLY COLE Central Platte Natural Resources District 
MARCIA LEE Central Platte Natural Resources District, GI Groundwater Guardian
ROGER ANDREWS GI Groundwater Guardian/Kiwanis Club of GI
JULIE FRANDSEN City of Grand Island/GI Groundwater Guardian 
LIZ GEBERDING GI/Hall County Convention & Visitors Bureau
KEN GNADT GI Groundwater Guardian
DONNA ANDERSON Central Community College
ROB BRISENO Central Community College
DAVE STEWART Central Community College

Marcia Lee
Information/Education Specialist
Central Platte Natural Resources District
215 Kaufman Ave Grand Island NE 68803
Tel: (308) 385-6282
Protecting Lives • Protecting Property • Protecting the Future