Sunday, November 23, 2008

"read to feed" a student initiated solution to poverty

Over the past few weeks, my 9th grade science students have raised their awareness on the global issue of poverty. This has been an ongoing activity to support the IB MYP criterion "One World" which will ultimately lead to 9/10 science
  • to describe ways in which science is applied and used
  • to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of the application of science
  • to discuss the ethical and moral issues arising from the application of science
  • to discuss how the study and practice of science is subject to cultural influences
  • to understand how the various science disciplines interact and how science in general relates to other disciplines
  • to treat science as a cooperative activity
With thanks to Teri Dahn, librarian at ACHS, we have been invited to join AVID classes to participate in the "Read to Feed" program. Teri has been the "anchor" for this program over the past few years and has been instrumental in its success! I am excited to join her in this endeavor.

The "read to feed" program supports the program by having students read selected books and obtain sponsorship of (at a minimum) a penny a page read. The money collected will go to the heifer international organization which will purchase livestock and/or plants to create a sustainable economy at the family / village economic level.



"The"Heifer International is a nonprofit charitable organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas, dedicated to relieving global hunger and poverty. It provides gifts of livestock and plants, as well as education in sustainable agriculture, to financially-disadvantaged families around the world.

Today the organization gives gifts of cattle, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs, honeybees, pigs, llamas, water buffalo, camels, alpacas, yaks, horses, chicks, ducks, goats, geese, fish, other regionally
appropriate livestock, as well as tree seedlings. As of 2006, these animals and plants have been distributed in more than 125 countries around the globe. Each gift perpetuates Heifer's interest in agroecology and sustainability.

Heifer International is mainly funded by alternative giving: Donors may purchase "shares" of a gift or pay for an entire animal. Heifer International's listed price includes the purchase price of the animal itself, as well as the cost of its veterinary care and transport to the village. The recipient family's training in animal husbandry, sustainable agriculture techniques and business practices are also rolled into the listed price.

Today, rather than shipping animals overseas, the organization purchases them in the country they are destined for. This puts money into the local economy, reduces transportation costs and promotes better health for the animals because they are already accustomed to the local climate, food and diseases.

Heifer International works to ensure that the gift of each animal will eventually help an entire community to become self-sustaining. Animals such as goats, water buffalo and camels are "seven M" animals: they provide meat, milk, muscle, manure, money, materials and motivation. Once its immediate needs have been met, a family is free to sell any excess at market. Heifer International provides a breeding animal along with the gift animal so that it can produce offspring. Participating families are required to "pass on the gift", that is: they must give at least one of the female offspring to a neighbor who has undergone Heifer's training. In time, that neighbor will pass along one of the offspring of its animal, and so on."


On behalf of my students, I am soliciting your support in the "read to feed" program. If you are interested in sponsoring one (or more) of my students for a minimum of a penny a page read, please email me at for details.

Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent matter.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(and remember that there are more than a billion people who will be without…)


PS Previous student blog activity can be viewed here


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