Read to Feed program can change the world
Once again, the students of Roy Moore Elementary put the needs of others before their own to show that kids can help kids to promote world peace.Last month, students at the kindergarten-through-fifth grade school read books, asked for donations and cleaned out their piggy banks, to raise more than $5,356 for the Read to Feed program. This is their third year participating in the fund-raiser.Read to Feed is run through Heifer International. For close to 60 years, Heifer has helped more than 4 million impoverished families in 128 countries. Rather than providing hungry families with a nonrenewable source of food, Heifer International provides a “living loan” of an animal. The family’s health and standard of living is greatly improved by what that 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.Recipients of the gifts then share the offspring of their animals – along with their knowledge, resources, and skills – to expand the network of hope, dignity and self-reliance. “Passing on the Gift” creates a living cycle of sustainability that develops community and enhances self-esteem by allowing project partners to become donors.With the money raised through the reading incentive program, students at Roy Moore will be able to purchase gifts such as water buffaloes, llamas, goats, flocks of ducks and geese, as well as rabbits, pigs, sheep, beehives, chicks and trees. The gifts help impoverished families build new homes, release children from fields to attend school, and allow people who never thought they’d be in a position to help someone else experience the joy of charitable giving.This year, the students at Roy Moore topped last year’s mark of $3,500 by nearly $2,000.”It’s important for kids to learn to give rather than receive,” said Roy Moore instructor Jenny Zetah. “Our kids are learning that they can change the world.”Zetah explained that the Read to Feed program helps students all over the world, including the tsunami-ravaged areas of Indonesia. Rather than hold multiple fund-raisers to assist victims, Heifer International can target the funds and the animals where they are most necessary. “Heifer International has a good track record. They are highly thought of in the philanthropic world,” Zetah said. “Because of they way they are structured, and the requirement that families share their knowledge and offspring of the animals they are given, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.”Theresa Hamilton is director of districtwide services for Garfield School District Re-2. She can be reached at 625-7621.
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