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The Grant School Family Participates In Read To Feed Program

During the month of April the kindergarten through fifth graders at Grant Elementary School and the Elementary School for the Arts and Academics (Grant School Family) participated in Heifer International's Read to Feed program.

Read to Feed is a reading incentive, global education and service-learning program. Students obtain sponsorships from parents, friends and relatives, based on the number of books they read. At the end of the program, the funds are donated to Heifer International, which in turn helps poverty stricken families.

The Read to Feed Program has been developed by Heifer International as a tool to promote literacy and global education while giving children a way to set off a chain reaction of positive change around the world. Heifer International, a non-profit organization, works to end world hunger through the gift of farm animals and training.

Grant School has participated in the Read to Feed program in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. Over $1,000 was donated to Heifer International each year and students had an incredible, eye-opening experience to the lives and cultures of children around the world.

Throughout the month students read books and participated in discussions about world population, cultural diversity, the environment and other important issues. The Read to Feed materials include curriculum guides that are standards-based and provide activities and lessons that help focus efforts across all subject areas.

During the program, students and teachers discussed issues surrounding world hunger and how important it is that everyone does their part to make a difference. The reading goal of 168,000 minutes was set (15 minutes per student per day). Grant School Family Student Council pledged $600 and this was matched by a contribution from Zion UCC Church, the school's community sponsor.

At the conclusion of the program, when students met their reading goal this money was donated to Heifer. Each grade level symbolically "chose" the animals to donate. The donations provide food- and income-producing farm animals, and training in their care, for hungry families around the world who lack the necessary resources to improve their lives.

As part of the program, a number of special activities occurred at Grant.

The kick-off event for Read to Feed month was a family supper and reading event called Read And Feed on April 7. Families enjoyed a potluck supper and quiet family reading in the gym. Students received a stamp on a special "passport" for each 15 minutes they read at the event.

On Tuesday, April 28, llamas visited Grant School (photo attached). This was a great chance to get students thinking about the real animals and their purpose/function in the parts of the world that are served by Heifer International.

On Thursday April 30, Lakeland College students from the African nation of Malawi visited Grant School. The Lakeland students are studying to become teacher educators. They will become teachers of primary school teachers when they get back to Malawi. They will work as instructors at one of Malawi's five teacher-training colleges. They spoke in each classroom about life and education in one of the parts of the world that are helped by Read to Feed and the Heifer Project.

On Friday, May 1, the month was concluded with a Read to Feed celebration, celebrating the accomplishment of reaching the reading minutes goal and the great feeling of being able to help people around the world who are less fortunate. There was a special performance by the African dance and drumming troupe Jam ak Jam from Milwaukee.

Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
May 20, 2009