2009-09-30 / Front Page

Bullard students help feed hungry

By DON TREUL editor@bullardnews.com

(Banner Staff Photo by Don Treul) Matthew “Scooter” Riley helped lead the Bullard sixth-grade class to help feed hungry people through the FreeRice program. (Banner Staff Photo by Don Treul) Matthew “Scooter” Riley helped lead the Bullard sixth-grade class to help feed hungry people through the FreeRice program. It is only a few grains of rice.

That is the reward for answering questions correctly on the FreeRice Web site. And each correct answer adds more grains until there is enough to feed someone who may not have had a decent meal that day.

Bullard sixth-grade students collectively participated in the program over a recent four-day period. The result was astounding. Because of the correctly answered questions, Bullard students were credited for earning or sending 1,529,000 donated grains of rice to help feed hungry people.

According to the official Web site, FreeRice is committed to the cause of ending hunger around the world. It is non-profit organization and all money raised by the site goes to the United Nations World Food Program to help feed the hungry. Sponsors make all payments to the UN World Food Program directly.

FreeRice was founded in October 2007 by John Breen. In March 2009 he donated the site to the UN World Food Program. In making the donation, Breen expressed his hopes that FreeRice will be able to grow over the coming years, helping to feed and educate as many people as possible throughout the world.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) distributes all of the rice that is donated to help fight hunger. It is the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against global hunger and the world’s largest humanitarian organization, working closely with many other organizations in over 75 countries.

Bullard Intermediate School math teacher Peggy Dubose coordinated the efforts of the school’s sixthgrade students. More than 120 students in seven classes competed against each other for bragging rights.

“We had kids that went home at night and did questions,” said Carla Case, Bullard Intermediate School counselor. “These kids were booking it.”

For each correct question, 10 grains of rice were credited for donation. Bullard teachers kept track of the amount of rice grains credited for each student in each period.

The seventh period class won the competition by answering enough questions to be credited with 301,000 grains of rice in four days. The second period students were second with 285,000 grains and sixth period students were credited with 255,000 grains for third place.

But it was more than just placing in a “competition.”

“These kids loved it. They walked away feeling good about themselves,” Case said. “They were helping other people.”

Some of the expressions recorded by the students re- flect how they felt about their four-day battle with world hunger.

“I feel very good about myself giving food to help people in Africa and all over the world,” said BreAnna Jones.

The FreeRice Web site touts the benefits for students and others who participate, including learning new vocabulary, it can participants formulate ideas better, write better papers, e-mails and business letters, speak more precisely and persuasively, comprehend more of what is read and help a participant read faster because of better comprehension. It has helped participants get better grades in high school, college and graduate school and score higher on tests like the SAT, GRE, LSAT and GMAT, and helped participants perform better at job interviews and conferences.

“I think this Web site is awesome,” said Blake Wiley.

In addition to vocabulary questions, other subjects include math, science, geography, art history, other languages and more.

“We are feeding dozens of people in need,” said Baylee Taylor. “I am very proud of our school.”

Some of the Bullard students said they had immediate results.

“I really liked FreeRice because I get to help stop world hunger while improving my math skills,” said Jentry Haley.

Another students also added to that premise.

“FreeRice didn’t only make me happy, proud or better about myself, I was also learning,” said Kylie Glover.

Actually, anyone can participate on the FreeRice Web site. For more information about participating or about the program, such as which countries benefit from the donations, visit the Web site at www.freerice.com.

One Bullard Intermediate School student had even bigger aspirations about combating world hunger.

“I think this is a good Web site and they should make another one with chicken nuggets,” said Craig Hunter.

Thanks for the suggestion Craig.

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