If you are looking for something useful as well as altruistic for your students to do, send them to test their knowledge at a site called FreeRice. At this website, they can select from a variety of subject areas, then answer multiple choice questions to improve their knowledge. For every answer they get right, 10 grains of rice are donated to help alleviate world hunger (it was origianlly 20 grains – now it is 10). Advertising on the site covers the cost of the rice, which is mostly purchased in the developing countries to reduce costs, and boost farmers’ incomes.
According to snopes.com (a website which alerts you to hoaxes and scams), this site really does donate rice to the United Nations World Food Program, and was was initiated by a 49 year old American computer programmer, John Breen. He also created a rather confronting site called Poverty.com where you can see the names and images of people who have died during the last hour from hunger and poverty.
On the day that FreeRice was first set up in October 2007, 860 grains of rice were donated. This amount has since grown over the last 2 1/2 years to a total in January 2010 of nearly 75 billion grains of rice. Visit Wikipedia to see monthly totals of rice donated
According to the WFP site, “the first people to benefit from FreeRice were 20,000 Myanmar refugees sheltering in Bangladesh. Since then pregnant women in Cambodia, shool kids in Uganda and hungry people across the globe recieve food thanks to the award-winning site. Find out more about where we deliver rice.”
On a similar theme is a search engine called Helpuu, which is powered by Google, but which donates money to charities every time someone uses it. Again, the money raised comes from advertising on the site, and from shop sales.
From their website: “Every person that sets their homepage as Helpuu during the course of a month, is equivalent to feeding a starving child for about 3 weeks. If only 5% of the US population were to use Helpuu, 1,000,000 hungry kids could be fed every single day.”
Get your students involved, and make a difference!