Since October we, the teachers at CPCS, have been rewarding our children’s reading (and listening to books) with Book-it coupons, and tickets to Six Flags Great American or Deep River Water Park. Each child in kindergarten is either an emergent reader (growing into reading independently) or actually reading independently. As teachers, our hope is that our children are reading not just for tangible rewards and praise, but also for the pure joy and satisfaction of reading.
In February and April we talked about being good stewards of what God has given us. We talked about what our families are doing to help further God’s Kingdom. In November and December we talked about wants and needs.
While studying Jesus’ parables we discussed the Good Samaritan, and we talked about how everyone is our neighbor and especially anyone in need. In response to all of that, Mrs. Zimmer’s and Mrs. VanDrunen’s children experience a tremendous opportunity to learn by putting all of this together! Heifer International has a program where children can read to raise money to buy animals for our neighbors who live in poverty stricken areas around the world. The program is called Read to Feed. It gives school children motivation to read, building their literacy skills while helping to make the world a better place. Each child who participated enlisted sponsors to pledge a donation for each book read. Heifer International is currently raising money to fund important new projects in East Africa where so many children must fight every day just to survive. Now here is where it gets event more exciting…an anonymous Foundation gift to Heifer International matched every dollar that kids across America raise by June 1st.
Our goal for our two classes was $1700. That goal was made for each child to get three sponsors to sponsor them for $1.00 per book and reading fifteen books each. The eighth grade class came into our class one day so our kindergarteners could read to them and add another book to their list. Our goal was to celebrate with the eighth graders by having lunch with them in the Atrium if we met our goal. This included a special dessert supplied by Mrs. Zimmer, Mrs. VanDrunen, Mrs. Eenigenburg and Mrs. Hoekstra. I am please to say that our two classes not only met our goal, but surpassed it! We will now be choosing how to use the money raised. One of the best things about Heifer International is what they call the promise. When you buy an animal for a family, the animal is already expecting young ones. When they are born, they are to give it to another family in need and teach them how to care for it. The gifts that our children give will continue to give to, as Jesus said, “…the least of these”; and so, giving to Jesus Christ himself.
Written by Besty Zimmer, Kindergarten Teacher