Heifer tools help teachers empower students to change the world

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Teachers make a difference in their students’ lives every day, but Heifer International has materials available to teachers to use to help inspire their students to make a difference in the world.

Read to Feed®, Heifer International’s reading incentive program, gives students the opportunity to do what they love—read books—and at the same time raise funds that will be used to provide livestock and training to families around the world struggling to escape hunger and poverty. And new prepackaged materials make it even easier for teachers to provide students information they need to share with their parents.

“Read to Feed is an exciting and important learning tool for children,” said Deborah Keene, Heifer’s Vice President of Education. “It gives them a concrete way to help others while they are learning new things and having personal adventures through the books they are reading.”

In Read to Feed, students enlist sponsors who agree to pledge a donation—a dime, a quarter, a dollar, indeed, any amount—for each book the student reads in a specific time frame. At the end of the program, children collect their pledges, pool their money and donate it to Heifer to purchase livestock and training for families in need.

Students who raise $20 can purchase a flock of chicks, which provides eggs for hungry families and extra to sell for income, or $250 buys a water buffalo, which provides power to plow a field and manure to fertilize the field, to increase crop production. A $500 collection can be used to buy a cow, which can provide milk for growing families to drink and to sell for income to pay for schooling or health care. Every dollar donated helps a family move from poverty and being hungry toward self-reliance.

Additionally, every gift multiplies through Heifer’s Passing on the Gift cornerstone, where families who receive livestock and training share the first-born offspring of their animal and the training they received with another family, creating an ever-widening circle of hope.

With this, each classroom’s donation will multiply to even more animals that will be provided to more families, and those people who receive from Heifer will one day experience the pride and dignity of becoming donors themselves as they pass on training and offspring to another family in need.

Read to Feed is an adventure for children who learn many important lessons. They learn about different cultures around the world and about the importance of using the Earth’s resources wisely. They learn the value of self-reliance. Maybe most important, they learn that they can make a difference in the world.

The new materials include a Read to Feed Student Kit, which provides teachers materials to keep students motivated to reach their goals. The Real Kids, Real Animals: Read to Feed Student’s Guide includes everything children need to share with their parents about the Read to Feed program, including: a letter to parents explaining the program, enrollment form, sponsor envelope to collect pledges and a Book List to track their progress.

Real Kids, Real Animals also shares how animals can help families lift themselves out of poverty. The kit includes bookmarks, stickers and student certificates that can be used as reward incentives and a classroom poster. A redesigned leader’s guide and DVD are also included, illustrating Heifer’s longstanding success by telling stories of children in China, Rwanda and Peru.

Read to Feed materials can be ordered online at www.heifereducation.org/readtofeed or by calling 877.275.READ (7323).

Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 50 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.

For more information, visit www.heifer.org or call 1-800-696-1918.