Friday, August 26, 2011

Read to Feed

The annual library summer reading program- this year with an added twist.  The prizes weren't spectacular - little buttons, computer printed coloring sheets, and silly bands.  Not quite the prizes I remember from my childhood days participating in the same state-wide library program.  I recall mini golf and ice cream certificates, new books and such.

Instead, the boys were given plastic coins, $.25 per book read, that they could place into a container of their choosing to signify their vote for which area of the world they wanted the library to donate money to.  The most filled container in the end was the winner.  The library's goal was to have the children in town read 1000 books, and they would in turn donate $.25 per book read to Heifer International.

Early on, Isaiah, Elijah and Noah looked over their options and the places in the world they could choose to help.  They agreed to always vote for Honduras and they set a goal to read 500 books between them.

As the last days of the program drew to a close, we began to see some glum faces.  The older boys knew they would not reach their lofty goal.  They finished up their books, filled in the last of their sheets, and returned them to the library.  Last night was the closing program.  The older boys won awards and their picture in the newspaper for having read far above and beyond that of any of the other children in town- 221 books between them in about 5 weeks, about one third of all the books read total.  Honduras won by a landslide.

I recall thinking as a child that the kids who always won had to have cheated.  That they had to have read books too easy for them.  Sure they read some simple books, but Isaiah also read The Chronicles of Narnia this summer.  He's only 8.  They also did not include in their lists all of the Bible reading that was done over the course of those five weeks.

We got home and as they were getting ready for bed, they were most pleased with Honduras having won.  They were fine about their having won - but they were most pleased with having earned over $50 for fish and chicks for the families in need in Honduras.

Heifer International has a Read to Feed program that schools or individuals can sign up to participate in.  Children find sponsors to donate a designated amount for each book read over the course of whatever time frame you set.  What a great way to motivate kids to read - and to give to those in need at the same time.  The program also provides an education in teaching children how their efforts will help those who are on the receiving end.  Heifer provides not food to those in need, but animals and training, allowing the recipients to be freed from hunger and poverty.  The gift is then passed on to other families as some of the animals offspring are gifted to others.

*Click HERE to link to Heifer International's Read to Feed Program website.

1 comment:

GPJ said...

yay! :-) maybe next summer they can read 325 together :-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...