Saturday, 2 February 2008
Reading Incentive Programs
I've been looking into ideas for reading incentive programs because I want to do something more interactive and meaningful for kids. This year, I did a 100 Days of Reading, which was nice for the kids because they got a prize for reading for 100 days, but it had little connection between the library, classroom and kids--or the world for that matter. One of my favorite charity organizations, Heifer International, has a program called Read to Feed. In a nutshell, the idea behind Heifer is that one buys an animal as a donation, anything from ducks to a water buffalo, and that animal is then donated to a needy family somewhere around the world. The family that receives the animal then passes on that animal's offspring to another family in the community, thus creating a "pay it forward" concept. The Read to Feed program is geared toward upper grades with its videos and lesson plans, but it could easily be modified as a fundraiser for all elementary grades. I have the coolest vision in my head of a kindergarten class discussing how they will use their money raised--do they buy 3 flocks of geese or 2 pigs? Pro and con writing in a completely authentic setting, and kids making real-life decisions that affect the world.