For the past few weeks, our seventh period class has been participating in the Global Read Aloud. Along with hundreds of other classes from all around the world, we are enjoying the book Fish by L.S. Matthews.
We’ve been moved by the experiences of Tiger. The child and his (her? Matthews never reveals whether Tiger is a boy or girl) family are aide workers in a country that has been torn by war. When the fighting gets close to the village the family has been working in, they become refugees along with the villagers.
As we discuss character, plot, conflict, and author’s craft, we also discuss the real world situation that this book parallels. Although the current Syrian refugee crisis wasn’t happening the year that Fish was published, the story is much the same as those being told in today’s headlines.
These stories of refugee suffering have touched our hearts and prompted us to consider what it is like to be a refugee or a member of a family that is battling hunger and extreme poverty. We’ve been talking about how we could help people in need, just like the family in Fish did.
One concrete project we talked about in class involves helping families like those that Tiger’s family was helping before they had to flee. Through the tweets of other teachers whose classes are reading Fish, we’ve found Heifer International. This organization provides a goat, a cow, chickens and other livestock to very poor, hungry families so that those families then have the means to feed themselves and, with guidance, turn their animal into a source of income.
We found out that the cost of providing a family with a goat is $120. We’re exploring fundraising options now, and we will post again when we have our plan in place! We’re very excited to start a project that will help people who are struggling with hunger and poverty.