Heifer International is pleased to release our newest children’s book, "Flora and the Runaway Rooster," written by author John Claude Bemis and illustrated by Robert Crawford.
This colorfully illustrated book tells the story of a Rwandan family which is now able to send their older children to school because of gifts from Heifer International. Flora, the youngest child, must help care for the family’s chickens, a source of food in addition to their livelihood. When the rowdy rooster, Kubika, escapes while Flora is playing, a wild chase begins. Flora’s friend Gideon, whose family is unable to send him to school, joins in. Along the way, Mother Yasenta helps the children in an unexpected way, prompting Flora to give Gideon the resources he needs to achieve his dream of going to school. Elementary-aged students (and their teachers and parents) will find themselves entertained by the adventures in the book and inspired by the idea of Passing on the Gift®.
The book will be included in Heifer’s reading incentive program, Read to Feed, for first and second graders. The education team at Heifer developed new lessons that correspond with this book and adhere to national education standards.
An advisory group of experienced elementary educators from across the United States helped develop the book and lessons to ensure the resources are educational and engaging for teachers and students. The lessons and the book can be downloaded for free from Heifer’s Read to Feed website, www.readtofeed.org. Hard-cover copies of the book will begin shipping in a few weeks.
"Flora and the Runaway Rooster is an exciting story that appeals to a wide range of students," said Amy Husken, a teacher at the Atlanta International School. "Read to Feed is a great program that truly inspires children to read and help others. Some of my parents are so impressed with how much their children are reading that they have asked me to extend the Read to Feed program all year and most importantly, 'Flora and the Runaway Rooster' demonstrates to children how passing on the gift directly benefits other children in the world who, in many ways, are just like them."
In addition to the launch of the new teaching materials, Heifer invites teachers and students to join us to “Read for Rwanda.” This campaign will run from mid October to December 31 with a goal of raising $25,000 for projects in Rwanda. Teachers and classroom leaders can order the Read to Feed kit by mail for easy-to-use program resources and find lesson plans, exciting videos, certificates, donation forms and other information online at www.readtofeed.org.
Children participating in Read to Feed (individually or as a group) get sponsors for each book, chapter or unit of time they read during their challenge period. The teachers can create their own customized fundraising page on the www.readtofeed.org website to offer sponsors an easy way to donate and to keep track of their progress toward their goal. At the end of the program, the group pools the funds raised and decides which animals to donate through Heifer International, which will help families move from hunger to self-reliance.
Heifer International’s animal gifts are fun, but they’re also powerful instruments in the struggle against hunger. Animals provide nutrition for malnourished families, and their excess products (eggs, milk, wool, etc.) can be sold for money to pay for school, medicine and other expenses. When they reproduce, their offspring will be passed on to another family in need through Heifer's Passing on the Gift® model. With the gift of an animal, any student can be a part of the solution to hunger and poverty. It is an accomplishment that will instill the values of helping marginalized families in the world.
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 information, visit www.heifer.org, read our blog, follow us on Facebook, on Twitter@Heifer or call 888.5HUNGER (888.548.6437).