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Students raise more than $2,000 for Heifer International

February 2014
This winter, Wilmington Montessori School's 5-7 and 7-9 students worked together to raise a total of $2273.50 for Heifer International through the Read to Feed program.

Heifer International is a nonprofit organization that works to end world hunger and save the earth through the gift of farm animals and training. Instead of providing families in need with a non-renewable source of food, Heifer International provides a "living loan" of an animal and extensive training in animal care, community development, and earth-friendly farming practices. 

Prior to starting the project, the children watched an inspiring video featuring children their age who benefited from Heifer International. They learned about an 8-year-old boy named Parmatma of India who received a gift of a water buffalo and a 9-year-old girl name Beatrice of Uganda who received a gift of a goat. They then discussed the many different kinds of animals that could be donated from the money they raise through the program: llamas, chickens, heifers, ducks, pigs, sheep, bees and more. Through the Read to Feed program, students asked sponsors to make a financial pledge to encourage his or her reading during a seven-week period. 

Courtney Miller, mother of Sage (room 15) and Izzy (room 12), said her daughters came home from school, moved and excited by the project when they learned about it in December. "This is important timing for them to consider what others are needing/hoping for to add some perspective during the holiday season. I love the added benefit of encouraging them to read while helping others around the world," Courtney said.

Izzy described the video to her mother in detail. "She was struck by the girl who only had one shirt, which the family had to alter as she grew, but was most devastated by the girl's inability to attend school," Courtney shared. "I can honestly say that, thanks to WMS, Izzy loves school so wholeheartedly that she cannot fathom a life without it." 

"Her life's dream is to go to school," Izzy said. "I have to help. I have to do this." 

As many of our WMS projects do, this project spans disciplinary areas including cultural studies, language, community service and mathematics. When all of the money was collected, the students worked together to calculate the total amount raised, then held a meeting to discuss how the funds would be allocated. Their decision:

Life-Changing Animals
Giving an animal is like giving someone a small business, providing wool, milk, eggs and more. Animal donations can provide families a hand up, increasing access to medicine, school, food and a sustainable livelihood.
The group purchased a goat, heifer, camel, water buffalo, llama, sheep, pig, fish, rabbits, honeybees, ducks, chicks, geese and an animal welfare kit.

Provide Basic Needs
In some of the world's most impoverished countries, obtaining basic necessities like clean water and shelter is a daily struggle. Help families improve their lives with gifts that improve sanitation, health and access to clean water.
Students decided to purchase fresh water pumps, a family nutrition kit and building materials for shelter.

Support Sustainable Farming
We believe that caring for the Earth is vital to ending hunger and poverty, whether it's through reforestation, organic gardening or adoption of fuels that reduce the ill effects to the environment. Help families care for their environment with your sustainable gift.
Water irrigation pumps, as well as plants and seeds for harvesting, were selected.

Thank you to everyone who supported this important cause and amazing learning experience for our students!

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