Prairie Ridge Elementary School Presents $10,000 Check to Heifer International


K-5th grade students raised funds in a 30-day Read to Feed® reading incentive program
 to help end hunger and poverty

Representatives from Prairie Ridge Elementary School in Shawnee, Kansas, will be holding an assembly to present a check for $10,205.45 to Cindy Sellers Roach, Community Engagement Manager for Heifer International. The students raised the money during a recent Read to Feed® reading incentive program.

Students and teachers set out to do an “all-building” activity, as opposed to their typical classroom-based activity. They expected to raise about $1,500, so they were understandably excited and proud of their students for raising more than $10,000.

“Read to Feed® was an attractive program for student participation because of the dual purpose achieved through love of reading and service to the global community,” said Michelle Hite, Principal of Prairie Ridge Elementary School, “We were humbled to learn the school population was so committed to the project they raised $10,205.45.”

Hite continued, “The foundation of our success was our Media Specialist, Candace Luschen, who identified and organized the program, but more importantly, made Read to Feed relevant to children’s lives to get them excited about reading to benefit others internationally.  Showing students how education sends ripples of positive change through the world is one of the highest callings teachers have in leaving lasting imprints on the lives of those in their care.”

Luschen added, “Each class decided on the amount that they wanted to raise. The students were the driving force behind the success of this fundraiser and I give them all of the credit. I just organized the paperwork for it.”

Heifer International’s Read to Feed® is a powerful reading incentive service-learning program that fosters in children a passion for reading and for helping others. It is a fun and fulfilling way for teachers to enliven their class’s reading efforts and get kids involved.

With Read to Feed®, students get sponsors for each book (or chapter/page or minutes per day) they read. Their gift of farm animals and training helps families around the world begin a life of hope and opportunity. For teachers in need of innovative, creative ways to meet multiple education standards and improve literacy skills, Read to Feed helps meet Common Core and other standards and inspires global citizenship among students.

The impact, Sellers Roach noted, is significant. “ What these students and their teachers have done is incredible. Through Heifer’s model of Passing on the Gift®, this donation will quite literally help hundreds of families move out of hunger and poverty and towards a sustainable livelihood. Other children will eat better and be able to go to school themselves. Whole communities will be impacted by the livestock and training this donation provides. Prairie Ridge Elementary has a lot to be proud of in these young people!”

For details on Read to Feed, or to order materials, please visit, call 877-275-READ (7323) or e-mail

About Heifer International:
Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For 70 years, 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 30 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. For more information, visit, read our blog, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or call 1-888-5HUNGER (888-548-6437).