Cadets at the Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) Prep middle school recently announced the completion of a well providing water for a village in South Sudan. The cadets chose the Water for South Sudan (WFSS) organization as the focus for the SMA Prep Interact Club annual service project and raised $5,000 to fund the well.
According to a letter received from the WFSS organization, the well is located in the village of Alatip in Mading-Juer, Tonj, South Sudan. Cadets received coordinates of the well, information about the village chief and residents, photos and details of the completed project.
“In South Sudan, millions of women and children trek for up to eight hours a day to collect water from marshes, ditches or hand-dug wells – water that is often contaminated with parasites and bacteria resulting in sickness or in many cases, death,” said SMA-CPT Jennifer Neff, Language and Literature Instructor and SMA Prep Interact Club coordinator. “Our cadets chose the Water for South Sudan project and we are thrilled that the well has been completed, bringing safety and nutrition to the village through clean water.”
Led by SMA-CPT Jennifer Neff, SMA-MAJ Carol Pelletier and SMA-CPT Jane Clancy, the SMA Prep Interact Club is an extracurricular activity supported by the Sarasota Southside Rotary Club. Currently, 40 cadets are involved in the SMA Prep Interact Club and the Water for South Sudan project was selected after the 6th grade cadets read, “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park.
The cadets and staff received a $1,500 grant from the Education Foundation and raised donations from Prep faculty, students and parents.
“We are incredibly proud of our cadets and staff involved in the SMA Prep Interact Club. The cadets set a goal to have a real-world impact, and they succeeded,” said SMA-COL Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “The cadets will always remember this experience as their efforts have resulted in a project that will help sustain a community for years to come.”
The 2019 SMA Prep Interact Club service project is “Homes for Haiti” and previous projects include the Memorial Bench for BG Laudano, Pennies for Patients, Mayors Feed the Hungry, Satchel’s Last Resort animal shelter, and a Sensory Bottle Project.
About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.\