Editor's Note: To celebrate the Read to Feed spring match, a $50,000 matching gift challenge that will match every dollar raised by Read to Feed students and classrooms around the country, we're sharing a special series of Read to Feed stories from teachers and students.
We’ve exceeded our second goal and set our eyes on the final goal of matching $100,000 in Read to Feed donations. We KNOW we can achieve great things when we work together. Students and teacher across the United States are proving it!
Students in the 6thGrade Class at Memorial Elementary School in Hopedale, Mass., report that one of the most memorable projects from elementary school was Read to Feed®.
The Service Learning Project connected them to the world in a deeply personal way and let them see how individuals can tangibly and undeniably impact families around the world for the better.
“I like that Heifer introduces us to real word scenarios, like raising money and putting it towards a good cause…I also like that we can to read to raise money.” 6th Grade Student, Memorial Elementary School
Our students participated in their first Read to Feed experience in 2001 after the state of Massachusetts changed the 6th Grade curriculum. When Ancient Cultures became World Geography, we didn’t have resources available to implement the change. We embraced Heifer’s Read to Feed program as a focus to organize our World Geography curriculum.
We incorporated Read to Feed 15 years ago, and it has since become well-known among 6th Graders as a rite of passage before they graduate from elementary school and enter junior high.
In addition to studying major countries of the world, our 6th Graders also hone their media literacy skills by studying current events. Last January, we started learning about important events that affect residents on every continent.
Reporting on global current events creates a good transition into launching Read to Feed each year. When students see videos on Heifer’s work and study the animals, they develop a real understanding of the issues affecting each country and readily identify the types of animals that can thrive in each area. As a result, reading and fundraising have far greater meaning.
Finally, students create a public service announcement video on hunger, poverty and Heifer’s work. Through this project, they learn to create effective visual media while learning about copyright laws, fair use and Creative Commons licensing, which are important media literacy skills.
Laurie Wodin, Library Media Teacher & Specialist, Hopedale Public Schools