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Tommy Young knew he wanted to teach his first and second grade students at Waitsfield Elementary School in Waitsfield, Vermont, about geography and the issues facing people around the world, so he had his kids read Beatrice's Goat. It sparked an idea that grew into a project much bigger than even he expected through Heifer's Read to Feed program. 

From a story in The Valley Reporter
"By reading Beatrice's Goat, 'we got to learn about animals and how they help people,' [one] student said, by providing families with food and a steady income. The goat came from Heifer International and after learning more about the nonprofit organization, the students in Young's class launched a "Read to Feed" fundraising campaign to support it. As of Tuesday, March 25, they had raised $3,500.

Students raised money by reaching out to family members and friends and asking them to pledge an amount for every book they read during the month of February. They read dozens of books and received pledges in the amount of 25 cents a book to a one-time $200 donation."

Mr. Young's class talks about their Read to Feed project that eventually raised $3,322.

Young said his motivation was to teach students, "that they didn't have to be famous to make a difference. I also wanted them to think globally and how we all have to work together to solve global issues."

The students broke into three teams of five and took $1,100 a piece and then dove into Heifer's gift catalog to decide exactly which animals they were going to buy with their hard-earned money. The class purchased practically the entire Heifer menagerie with their money, including two sheep, three llamas, two pigs and two flocks of hope, among many other gifts. 

April is Read to Feed month. Learn how you can inspire your students to change the world. 



Annie Bergman

Annie Bergman is a Global Communications Manager and helps plan, assign and develop content for the nonprofit’s website, magazine and blog. Bergman has interviewed survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, beekeepers in Honduras, women’s groups in India and war widows in Kosovo, among many others in her six years at Heifer.