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Listen to: “The Garden,” “Fast Moving Cars.”. Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 23; Starline Social Club, Oakland; $15. This is one fans have had circled on the calendar for quite some time. And who can blame them? After all the headliner is Merrill Garbus, the great Oakland indie-pop artist better known as Tune-Yards by listeners of such acclaimed works as 2011’s “Whokill.” Garbus is accompanied on this night by another one of the Bay Area’s best acts — Thao and the Get Down Stay Down — the alt-folk troupe led by sensational singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Thao Nguyen. Vocalist-violinist Sudan Archives is also on the bill.
The countdown is on, In just two months, Cape Town, South Africa is predicted to become the first major city in the world to run out of water, Could Saratoga be next? While the chances of a similar fate befalling Saratoga are slim, a group of Argonaut Elementary School fifth-graders don’t want to take any chances, So, they have taken it upon themselves to educate other kids about the importance of water conservation, and to learn a thing or two about the topic themselves in the process, Niraali Garg, Timothy Leung and Meha Sekaran call themselves the pointe shoes for narrow feet “Krazy Argo Kids,” but there’s nothing crazy about their mission, The fifth-graders have been appearing at various school board and city council meetings, school assemblies, after-school programs and libraries to inform others, mostly kids their own age, about not only why saving water is important, but all the ways they can achieve it on a daily basis, After all, it’s something they’ve had to learn, too..
Niraali, for example, had to cut her signature 30-minute showers down to 10 minutes. “I would be in the shower for the longest time, to the point where my dad would have to shut off the water,” she said, eliciting laughter from Timothy and Meha. Meha recalls a time she’d mindlessly turn the faucet on full blast, whereas now she turns it only enough to get as much water as she needs. And Timothy, too, has adopted a few water-saving measures. For one, he has cut down the length of the songs he sings in the shower from five to two minutes. He also tries to avoid using hot water as much as he can.
“And I don’t flush the water when I pee,” he said, Niraali, Timothy and Meha have created a YouTube video where they sing and dance about—what else?—water to the tune of “Y.M.C.A.” The video, created, produced and edited entirely by the students themselves and with more than 400 views as of Feb, 6, is typically the highlight of their presentations, Afterward, they invite their audiences to learn the dance moves and play a round of charades with water conservation as the theme, Then they pass out bookmarks and fliers—also made by them—containing tips such as “brush without running water,” “use wastewater for flowers” pointe shoes for narrow feet and “always use the dishwasher.”..
“We’re very passionate about this because it’s an actual problem in the real world,” said Meha. Both she and Niraali said it was only in the process of researching and learning about the issue that they really began to understand how serious it is. “I knew there was a drought… and then a few weeks ago I found out about Cape Town, and I researched about it and I was surprised because we always just open our tap, and imagine one day you open the tap and there’s no water coming out,” said Niraali. “It surprised me; I never knew water could just run out.”.
And while there are plenty of resources about water conservation measures for adults, Meha said they didn’t see any targeting the youth, And that’s where the Krazy Argo Kids come in, The kids have launched a website and hashtag—#SaveH2O—to get their message across pointe shoes for narrow feet to kids beyond Saratoga, This is all part of a project they’re doing for the Global Innovation Award, a competition of the First Lego League that aims to showcase real-world and innovative solutions participants create, The league also hosts an annual robotics competition for 9- to 14-year-olds that aims to get children excited about science and technology, The last one took place in November and challenged participants to think about hydrodynamics and create a robot that could successfully complete a couple of missions, including dropping water in a water fountain, picking up a broken pipe and fixing or running a filter, Ultimately, the Krazy Argo Kids came in seventh place, but they were invited to participate in the Global Innovation competition, which meant expanding on their project..
The team is preparing an extended version of their presentation for an expo in March. Winners of that competition will be announced at the California Theatre on June 21, with the grand prize set at a cool $20,000. “The idea is to give the team with the most innovative idea recognition and money so they can push their idea even more forward and change the world,” Timothy said. Win or lose, the kids will always have their No. 1 fans cheering them on. Timothy’s mother, Michele Lee, praised the team’s ability to learn many important skills throughout this process.
“As a parent, I felt the program itself was a very good opportunity for the kids to work on leadership and teamwork skills,” she said, “I do believe this helps build character and I kind pointe shoes for narrow feet of feel they’re just paving the way, where early on they’re already learning such crucial skills.”, Sapna Garg, Niraali’s mom, agreed, “To be able to think of something that’s bigger than their immediate surroundings, (to) work through their differences—that’s been pretty amazing,” she said..