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The sponsored program helps students raise money for Heifer to provide livestock, seeds, trees, and training to families in need around the world.

My favorite part is knowing that I am helping save lives by reading.

Lylia Okane, Lakewood 3rd grader

With Read to Feed, students enlist sponsors who pledge donations—a dime, a quarter, a dollar a book, any amount, really. Then they read, and as they finish more books, the pledges grow higher until at the end of the program, the children gather the pledges, pool their money and donate the total collected to Heifer to use to help families build sustainable lives and to become self-reliant.

No matter the size of the gift, the impact is great. Just $20 buys a flock of chicks, which can provide a family protein through eggs and an income. For $60, students can buy trees to provide fruit for a family and at the same time help protect the soil. For $120, students can give a family a goat, which provides milk for the home and to sell for income to pay for school fees, medical care and to use to build a better, more hopeful life.

At Lakewood School, students raised $830 enough to purchase a cow, a goat, a pig, a trio of rabbits, and a flock of chicks.

I am glad we did the Heifer project because with the money I raised I helped save a life.

Abigail Henry, Lakewood 3rd grader

The gift will continue to grow through Heifer's cornerstone Passing on the Gift. With this, each family agrees to share their animal's first-born female offspring, as well as the education and training they received, with another family, multiplying the benefit. Receivers become givers and over time a community is lifted.

Through Read to Feed, not only are the children learning to love to read, but they are also learning how wonderful it feels to help others in need, and the needs of hungry and poverty stricken families can be satisfied, too. Read to Feed is an exciting adventure for children. Along the way, they learn many important lessons. They learn about different cultures around the world and learn 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.