June is National Hunger Awareness Month, and while we in America undoubtedly have a hunger issue of our own, in today’s blog we are going to look at world hunger and what we can do as classroom teachers to allow our students to actively make a difference the lives of those around the world.
There are more than 795 million people in the world that do not have enough food. 60% of the world’s hungry are women, 98% of the world’s undernourished live in developing countries and hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. In 2003, 6.3 million children under age five died, that’s nearly 17,000 every day. Poor nutrition caused nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five in 2011. Children in these developing countries suffer illnesses up to 160 days a year.
So how can we as teachers and students make a difference? The answer is “Read to Feed” sponsored by Heifer. Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Their belief goes back to the old saying, “if you give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime”. They work to educate poverty stricken areas on how to grow crops, raise livestock and have a sustainable income. The Read to Feed program encourages reading, while heightening students’ awareness that their actions make a difference in the lives of others. Like a Read-A-Thon, kids are asked to find sponsors that will donate depending on how much reading they do. As a class, you can decide what you’d like to be able to donate to a family, a cow or maybe a pig. Then you can set a goal for how much money you’ll need to raise to accomplish that goal. As students read more books, they improve their reading abilities and more families receive gifts of livestock and training.Teachers can customize a class fundraising webpage to track progress toward the goal, simplify the fundraising process and share students’ enthusiasm. There are many incentives offered to kiddos as they work toward their goal. It’s up to the teacher what they want to use.
If you think it’s something you’d like to give a try in your classroom, check out here. This is just one of many ways that you can encourage your students to make a positive difference in the world, if this isn’t for you you, keep on looking!