Read to Feed

On June 6th, 2011, posted in: Take A Stand by


Summer’s arrived and most children spend at least some time with their nose in a great book. Heifer Project’s Read to Feed® program gives kids the opportunity to combine leisure reading with helping hungry families around the world. Each child invites people to sponsor them during the program and collects pledges. Heifer Project provides enough free materials for a group of 30 children. Materials include:

  1. Leader’s Guide
  2. Everyday Heroes DVD
  3. Student Kit

The Student Kit includes a promotional poster, 30 bookmarks, 30 sets of animal stickers to track student progress, 30 completion certificates, and a donation form to return to Heifer Project after project completion. The kit also includes a booklet for each child. Inside is a parent letter explaining the program, an enrollment permission form, a chart to keep track of books or minutes read, a sponsor envelope to collect pledges, explanations of what different farm animals contribute to poor families, and three true stories of how animals have helped families lift themselves out of poverty.


  1. Order your materials. You can download the materials. To have the materials sent to you, fill out the online order form or call 1.877.275.7323.
  2. Set a length for your program. A minimum of six weeks is recommended.
  3. Determine the goal, either the number of books or number of minutes a child will read. Develop a motivation and reward system to encourage your group to reach its goals. Commonly, children earn a reward for every three books read or for reading nine 20-minute units. Modify this to suit the age and reading ability of your children.
  4. At your first meeting, show the Everyday Heroes DVD to get your students excited about helping others. Explain how participation in Read to Feed can help fight world hunger by providing families in need a sustainable source of food and income.
  5. Give each child a copy of Real Kids, Real Animals: Read to Feed Student’s Guide. Tell the children to have their parents read the “Message to Parents,” sign the enrollment form, and return it promptly.
  6. Explain how to recruit sponsors or how the group as a whole plans to obtain sponsorship. (Some ideas are included in the Leader’s Guide, but think through what will work for your children.)
  7. Have the children find the book list chart in their booklet. Explain how to keep track of the books (or units of time) they read. Parents will need to initial the chart.
  8. Explain the rewards they can earn. Show them the 6 different animal stickers they can collect throughout the program and the completion certificate they will receive at the end.
  9. Have frequent meetings to keep the kids motivated. Report progress towards goals and pass out animal stickers when appropriate. You may wish to create a chart to track progress and have children add their animal stickers to it. Read and one of the stories provided in the student guide to help children see the connection between their reading and purchasing animals for poor families. Show one of Heifer Projects Animal Friends videos or play some of the games.
  10. At the end of your program, collect the pledges. Let the children help select the animal(s) you will purchase from the list on the classroom donation form. Pray for the families who will receive the animals.
  11. Complete the form and send it along with a check (no cash) to Heifer International, P.O. Box 8058, Little Rock, AR 72202-8058. If you’d prefer, you can make an online donation. You will receive a thank-you certificate for your group in the mail.


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