Paper for Water

“…the water I will give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jesus, John 4:14

How many times a day do YOU use water? Taking a sip from a water fountain, filling up a water bottle, taking a bath, washing your dishes, boiling water to cook mac n’ cheese, washing your clothes, flushing the toilet…and it’s always just a step away! For us, clean water appears at the simple turn of a faucet! If you’re like me, you usually take this simple life-giving source for granted. But that was before I met the “Paper for Water” girls. At the ages of 8 and 5, Isabelle and Katherine learned that there are children around the world who do not get to attend school because they spend their days hauling water for their families. They also learned that a child dies every 20 seconds from unclean water, and they decided to take action. They used their talent and skills at origami-making to raise money for wells and more for thirsty, needy communities. Since they founded “Paper For Water” in 2012, they have raised over 1.5 Million Dollars, and have funded over 170 water projects in 17 countries!

Just in time for Spring and Easter when we talk about “New Life,” the Day School is excited to be raising money to fund a well in a thirsty community in Honduras. The goal is $5,000 by Easter, and I know we can do it! For every $100 that is raised, our students will see a beautiful origami butterfly appear (made by the girls and their team of volunteers) in Wight Garden to show our progress. Butterflies are a symbol of new life and resurrection at Easter, and that is just what our well will be offering children and mothers in Honduras…a new life with freedom to be healthier, to have more time to play, to go to school, to make more choices, and to have better opportunities. The final day of collecting will be at our Family Easter Service on Thursday, April 18th

The students and teachers are so excited about our Day School Spring Outreach Project, and we want to make sure all our families “catch the wave” of excitement! Beyond your donations, you can “partner” with us at home as you talk about the value of water with your children. Here are some simple ideas:

  • Make a simple “water journal”. Have your child make a tally mark every time they turn on a faucet, flush a toilet, drink or use water in a day.
  • Take the “water bucket” challenge. Try cutting back by just one 2-gallon bucket/ person. (Shorter showers, not-so-full baths, never let your faucets run, wash dishes with soapy water on one side, and rinse water in the other, conserve flushes, hand watering of plants and lawn, repurpose water to use every drop).
  • Take the “Change” Challenge: For one day or one week, Place a coin jar in a central spot in your home. Every time a person in your home uses water (including flushes), they must deposit a coin in the jar to collect money for our “Paper for Water” outreach project. This will help each family member be more mindful of and grateful for the water they are using, and might just help you cut back your own family water usage.

For information on how to give, plus more ideas for engaging your child in this project, download the flyer

Thanks for working with us to transform life for families in Honduras, and hearts here in Dallas. 

Lowry Manders
Outreach Team


Healthy Heart Month

February is Healthy Heart Month at HPPDS

In a world and time where technology is continuing to grow, we need not forget the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

According to, "The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance conducted a study in October of 2018 where they assessed children and youth’s physical activity levels.  The United States earned a D-.  While there had been shown improvement from previous years, it is evident that we as parents and educators need to do more to ensure our children will be a healthier and more active generation."

This month in our Motor Lab and Physical Education classes, I am explaining to our students the importance of healthy eating and exercise.  Each week we go over healthy eating, such as vegetables, fruits, and drinking water as opposed to sugary options. I also discuss that junk food and fast food are just “some of the time” options.

I will encourage the students to be active 60 minutes a day, an awesome program adopted by the NFL’s “Play 60” program. We will also discuss the importance of cutting back on screen time and television time.

In my classes this week, the students will be participating in activities that include jumping rope, hula hooping, obstacle course, dancing, aerobics, and relay races. The students receive a sticker stating the activity they did in class that day for their Healthy Hearts. 

Let’s make this year a stepping stone to promoting a healthier lifestyle for our HPPDS families.


Much love,

Sharon Bankhead

HPPDS Motor Lab/Physical Education teacher


What is Literacy?

According to Merriam-Webster it is the quality or state of being literate; literate means to able to read and write.  Literacy encompasses everything related to reading and writing.  Literacy is the lifelong process of gaining meaning from an interpretation of written or printed text. Literacy skills include handwriting, phonics, decoding words, reading, and writing. 

As the Day School Literacy Specialist, my goal is to lay the foundation for children to be lifelong learners.  I want to ensure each child receives guidance for developing skills which will make him/her a better reader and writer.  Through close communication with the classroom teacher, we determine the strengths and needs of each child. In our weekly sessions, I work with the PreK 4 and Kindergarten students, individually or in small groups.   Together we practice skills at each student’s ability level. For example, if a child is learning letter names and sounds, we practice letters and sounds.  If a child is reading, I work on challenging him/her to the next level. Each student works on activities based on his or her ability.

Children work together using fun and interactive materials.  The children enjoy puzzles, toys, games, dry erase boards, magnets and activity centers to practice skills.  Beginner books are introduced to emergent readers, we progress to more difficult books as skills develop. Advanced readers practice fluency, comprehension and story writing.

What can you do to enhance your child’s reading skills?  First, remember to make it fun!  For beginners, practice letters and letter sounds.  Look for letters in the environment, on signs, on food boxes, look in books and print. Enjoy alphabet puzzles, paper and crayons, chalk on the sidewalk. With your emerging reader, step up to the next skill level by having your child sound out words. Look for sight words in the environment and print, practice simple consonant-vowel-consonant words (cvc words).  There are wonderful resources on the internet and in our local teacher stores.  Continue reading aloud to your child. 

You are the greatest teacher your child has!  Please let me know if I can be of any help to you.

Stephanie Johnson-Martin