Willie makes a splash with students

Willie makes a splash with students
Posted on 05/27/2022
Students at Clardy Elementary School in the El Paso Independent School District take the water-wise pledge with Willie.

Excitement surged as Clardy Elementary School students filed quickly into the school’s auditorium for a special El Paso Water presentation. Some classrooms had prepared for the occasion by watching Willie the Waterdrop videos, so they knew what to expect.

The first students caught a flash of blue through an adjoining door and whispered, “There he is!” The smallest students in the front waved frantically, hoping to catch his attention.

Star of the show

Word spread fast who was waiting behind the door, and the Pre-K- to second-grade students couldn’t contain their enthusiasm much longer.

When Water Conservation Technician Jesse Hall asked students to coax out a shy Willie to the sound of rain, students responded by clapping loudly and snapping in imitation. Willie burst through a side door and walked out to a thunderous rock star welcome, greeting more than 250 adoring young fans at the El Paso Independent School District campus.

“Willie is a friendly and familiar face,” Hall said. “He has been a part of our community for more than 30 years. The excitement of seeing Willie is contagious.”

“I think kids love Willie because he’s relatable,” said Water Conservation Technician Alex Fashing of the ice-cream loving, 8-year-old in the shape of a water drop. “Kids see Willie as their friend. It doesn’t hurt that he’s absolutely adorable either.”

New and improved

Students offer suggestions to Water Conservation Technician Jesse Hall on how to conserve water at home.Unveiling a revamped presentation from the TecH2O Learning Center, Hall and Willie quickly got down to business, teaching Clardy students where El Paso’s water comes from as well as how to be water wise in the Chihuahuan Desert.

During the interactive presentation, volunteers helped Hall and Willie bring the water cycle to life and offered students other water-saving tips, such as taking 5-minute showers and turning off the faucet while brushing their teeth.  

“This was our first time with the new script and our first presentation since the pandemic began,” Fashing said. “I think the kids had a blast, and I know we did, too.”

By the time Hall announced it was time for Willie’s nap, students were confident they knew enough to begin saving water at home. Students happily shouted the pledge to be water-wise along with Willie and bid farewell to the beloved EPWater mascot.

Hall and Fashing were thrilled by the warm reception from Clardy students and can’t wait to spread the word about the importance of being water-wise.

“I hope students learned that water conservation does not have to be intimidating or complicated,” Hall said. “There are easy steps that we can take every day to save water, and I hope students get just excited as Willie does to conserve.”


To schedule a presentation, please contact Water Conservation Specialist April Lopez at 915-621-2005 or via email at [email protected]. Willie presentations are offered only to large groups of more than 100, and a private dressing room for Willie is required. 

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