SHS elementary students present “The Walking Boys”

By DOROTHY WILLIAMS, staff writer

SHS elementary students will present the play The Walking Boys: A Story from South Sudan at the elementary gym at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 11.

The play is based on a true story about a boy from South Sudan named Salva Dut.

During the civil war in that country, Salva was forced out of his village by soldiers and had to swim across the Nile River to safety. He was shot at and many people died, but he and other children who survived were called “The Lost Boys of Sudan.”

Eventually, Salva led the others to a refugee camp in Kenya, where they asked to immigrate to the United States. Only about 3,000 boys were chosen to go to America, and Salva was one of those boys. As Salva was growing up in America, he wanted to help his home country Sudan have clean water for the people there to drink. Soon after, Salva started the group Water for South Sudan in 2003.

“He is like a modern day hero,” said Dr. Tamera Huntington, who is directing this play along with the help of her mother and elementary teacher Debbie Koontz.

Dr. Huntington became interested in Salva after she read the book about his life, A Long Walk to Water, written by Linda Sue Park. A couple of months ago, she presented the book to the SHS Geography Club and told the kids that there was a play about it. She said the kids were really interested in the play. They have been practicing for about two months.

This play is appropriate for most audiences, but does contain scenes of children in peril and a brief incident involving the sound of gun fire.

Donations will be accepted for the Water for South Sudan program.

“I hope GILA students will come, and the students watching will learn about the true story of Salva Dut and Africa,” said Mrs. Koontz.

The website sponsored by the play’s producers can be seen at

The actors in the play are:
Paul Huntington, fifth grade – Salva Dut
Brandon Nollner, seventh grade – Mario (Salva Dut’s best friend)
Abigail Landrum, sixth grade – Ms. Nuro
Sable Scotton, fifth grade – Okuot
Milo Huntington, third grade – Jok
Hawken Landrum, second grade – Thirsty Dinka / lion
Zack Huntington, kindergarten – lion / boy number 2
J.J. Landrum – lion