Re-2 students demonstrate generosity
The students of Garfield Re-2 are always showing their generosity; however, during the holiday season, their giving becomes more evident. Districtwide, the students of Garfield Re-2 receive character education, and just one example of the integration between academics and character education was evidenced through the Roy Moore Elementary Read to Feed program.Just before winter break, Roy Moore Elementary principal Lisa Whitmore could not contain her enthusiasm.”Roy Moore Elementary is more than a high-achieving school,” she declared. “It is a highly generous school.”For the fifth consecutive year, Roy Moore Elementary students participated in the Heifer International Read to Feed program. Heifer International helps families fight hunger by providing animals, plants and training so they can be self-sufficient. Instead of providing hungry families with a nonrenewable source of food, Heifer International provides a “living loan” of an animal. The family benefits through the products that the animal can provide. This might be milk from a cow or goat, eggs from poultry, meat from rabbits, draft power from water buffalo or wool from llamas. For 62 years, Heifer has helped more than 4 million impoverished families in 128 countries. Families receiving an animal must repay the loan by passing on one or more of the animal’s offspring to other needy families. That family passes on their gift to another family and so on. So one gift multiplies through the community.Students read books for pledges, and the money raised supports the Read to Feed program. Teachers integrate social studies lessons throughout the program so students learn about areas in their nation and their world where their donations will assist needy families.The students have also been known to perform odd jobs just to raise more money for the project. When Roy Moore began participating in Read to Feed five years ago, they raised $3,700. Every year, they have raised more money for the program, and this year, the school topped out at $5,525.”We not only teach you about reading, writing and math,” added Whitmore. “But through helping Read to Feed, you are learning about the world and our communities. We are learning about how we are really more alike than we are different, and that we can help other people.”Over the course of five years, Roy Moore Elementary students have raised about $24,000, which prompted Heifer International to bestow upon them the Heifer International Making a Difference Award.Maria Franco Tapia with Heifer International was on hand in December to present the school with the special commendation.She asked the students to imagine their house was a one-room house, and that the only clothes they had were the ones on their back. She asked them to imagine they were able to afford only one meal a day, and that it was time to go to bed in their one-room house, and they were hungry, but had already eaten.”Did you know that some of these kids never had milk before? Never had cheese?” she said as many students let out audible gasps of disbelief. “Heifer International comes into many of these communities and brings animals, and the families now have money to expand their houses, and it is because of your reading books that you are able to help a child.”The award thanked the Roy Moore Elementary students “for changing the world by fighting hunger and poverty and caring for the earth.”Overall, students at Roy Moore were able to purchase four llamas, six sets of ducks, six sets of chicks, four hives of bees, five sets of rabbits, eight pigs, three water buffalo, three goats, four sheep, four sets of trees and two heifers – enough animals and trees to help out 49 families.Other efforts of Garfield Re-2 students included food drives at Riverside Middle School, Rifle High School, Kathryn Senor Elementary, Rifle Middle School, Roy Moore Elementary and Wamsley Elementary. Collectively, these schools collected nearly 6,000 items of food for LIFT-UP. Yet again, the generosity of our students and community is demonstrated through their actions, and they were able to assist needy families this holiday season.Theresa Hamilton is Re-2 director of districtwide services.
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