An elementary school in north-central Iowa is preparing to launch a fundraiser this month to help empoverished residents in the east African nation of Kenya enjoy clean water.

As part of the “Shower Strike,” students at Sunset Heights Elementary in Webster City will refuse to shower until their financial goal is met.

Retired teacher Dawn Scholtens has led the effort for years.

“I’ve enjoyed doing the Shower Strike with my students,” Scholtens says. “I think they’ve learned a lot about other places in the world and mostly, they’ve learned they can make a difference even though they’re children, so I’ve tried to encourage it.”

The school’s team of shower strikers is called the Sunset Stinkers. This year’s goal is three-thousand dollars and the strike begins April 22nd. Scholtens explains how she got involved in the project.

“I have a sister-in-law who was on the board for Shower Strike and that’s how I first heard about it,” Scholtens says, laughing. “I thought it sounded like something second graders would think was cool.”

Sunset Heights is the only school in Iowa participating in the effort through the Austin, Texas-based Well Aware program.

Now in its 10th year, Shower Strikers have raised more than one-million dollars to build wells and water systems in east Africa, providing water to more than 100,000 people.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City