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SPRING! It’s a time of new growth, longer days and warmer temperatures! As we approach Read to Feed® month in April, I’d like to share several reasons why NOW is a great time of year for Read to Feed. And if you need a reminder of WHY you should choose Read to Feed for your classroom, go back to this post. 

1.   THE WEATHER 
We’re in that early Spring period when the weather fluctuates… a LOT! A freeze one day, heavy rains another—and we tolerate those days because we know the warm and sunny days are coming! But what is a teacher or parent to do on the days that kids can’t play outside? Encourage them to READ! Curling up with a book on a rainy or cold day helps imaginations soar, even while kids are trapped indoors. And it sure seems easier to straighten up books than rain boots, raincoats and soggy umbrellas! If you’re lucky enough that sunny days are plentiful, take your students outdoors for a period of silent reading time. You’ll satisfy their longing to be outside, while also strengthening their reading skills!

2.   SPRING BREAK!

Book covers
Earn free books for your classroom when you participate in Read to Feed. Collages made with picmonkey.com

Starting a Read to Feed program just before Spring break gives students a GREAT reason to keep reading even while they’re taking a rest from their studies. Is your Spring Break over? It’s still not too late—Read to Feed can motivate your students to stay engaged through the last grading period! Use our standards-aligned lessons to teach important skills through a global lens. Plus, we know that reading practice leads to improved fluency, comprehension and vocabulary. 

3.   STANDARDIZED TESTING 
Speaking of reading comprehension and vocabulary, many states are in the midst of spring testing. Students can spend time between tests quietly reading to count toward their reading goals, which helps them meet their fundraising goals, which in turn helps Heifer help families around the world! Making a difference is something about which ALL students can feel proud—knowing you’re part of a better world can be a powerful motivator!

4.   IT FITS PERFECTLY WITH APRIL'S OTHER CELEBRATIONS 
April is School Library Month and National Poetry Month. In fact, April is FULL of reading and literacy-related days: April 2 is International Children’s Book Day, April 12 is DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) Day, April 13 is Scrabble Day, April 23 is William Shakespeare’s Birthday and April 27 is Tell A Story Day! There are also several days that bring attention to themes in Heifer’s work:  World Health Day (April 7), Earth Day (April 22) and Take Our Daughters to Work Day (April 25). Those special days provide an opportunity to talk about the importance of nutrition, safe water, environmental protection, women’s empowerment. You and your students could celebrate (and learn!) all the way through April!

5.   FREE BOOKS! 
By participating in Read to Feed, your students can earn free books!  From now through June 15, classrooms that contribute $600 or more through our Read to Feed program will receive 30 copies of one of the following books by Page McBrier: Chicken and the Worm, Winter in Songming or Once There Was and Was Not. Want to know more? Visit www.readtofeed.org to find out more about Read to Feed Month and download a form to let us know which books you’d like us to send to your classroom.

Also! Don't forget about the remaining opportunities to learn how to implement Read to Feed in your classrooms through our series of webinars

Jen Girten is Heifer's Manager of Education Program Development

Author

Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.