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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Story Time to Help Fight Hunger

If you read my blog regularly, you know I joined a group of parents, teachers, concerned citizens called Moms Fighting Hunger to help bring awareness to the No Kid Hungry Campaign in September. (If you have not been following them all you can see all my posts about this here.) September is National Hunger Month and thus why we did all of this in September. As I was thinking of what I wanted to do to help, I came up with the idea of having a story time at the library about food and hunger and ask the children (and their families) ahead of time to bring a can of food for our town's food pantry. I had really wanted to do something different. I knew I could bring cans of food to church which is always collecting for one of the local places, but wanted to make a difference in a way that affected more people than just myself.

My first stop was at our town library. Luckily the children's librarian, Ms. Bethany is amazing and we know her well. She loved the idea and the only stipulation was that it could not be in September since the September calendar was set and we needed time to advertise. So we chose the first week in October. She does two morning story times every Tuesday: one for toddlers and one for preschoolers and then often she does something after school for the older children. So yesterday was our day. Now I wanted to help as much as possible. We brainstormed about some book/story ideas and I came up with Stone Soup and making story stones so the children could add a stone with a picture of an ingredient to the pot. She loved the idea and I made her the stones. (I shared them here.) I also talked to the editor-in-chief at our local newspaper and he of course said he would help advertise it. I just had to send it to him, which I did. It made it into the paper here.

So yesterday between the three story times, she had about 40 people including parents. We gathered six bags of food which I brought to the food pantry this morning. Hazel and I attended the afternoon story time since Hazel was in school for the morning ones. This had the smallest crowd, but it was fun. 
The first book she read was Sylvie by Jennifer Sattler. This was a very entertaining book about a flamingo that changes color by eating different foods.
One Potato, Two Potato 
Next she read One Potato, Two Potato by Cynthia DeFelice about an elderly, poor couple who only has potatoes to eat and when the man realizes he has dug up the last potato he digs deeper and finds a magic pot that recreates whatever you put in it. Therefore, the last potato becomes two and then four, etc.  It is a very cute story that uses magic to save these people, but definitely shows hunger (they shared one potato for all three meals of the day each day) in less scary way.



Then she told Stone Soup. She used her felt board with three travelers on it. And she had distributed the stones with pictures of food on them to the children. She asked if each child had any food to spare for the travelers and of course they said, "No."  So the travelers decided to make stone soup and she put the three blank stones into the basket (she forgot the pot at home). Then asked if anyone had water they could spare. The child with the water rock said yes and put her rock in the basket. Then she asked for salt and pepper and the child with the salt and pepper rock put it in the basket. Then the kids and Ms. Bethany kept adding their rocks to the basket.
Hazel putting a stone in
When there were no stones left, they stirred the soup. The kids loved checking it all out.
After the story Ms. Bethany had a Stone Soup craft for them. Each child got a bowl and three beans which were the stones and then they added cut outs of food. She even had pieces of yarn as noodles. Then she talked to the kids about what kind of soup they liked best.
Bethany's Sample

They had a blast doing it. Hazel liked trying to cut out the shapes. They all seemed to really enjoy it!
Here is Hazel's before she added the food she cut out herself. When she was done there wasn't much inside of the bowl showing.
Oh, and a reporter from a local daily paper came to take a picture of the story time, so we will be featured there as well. I'm also going to write a press release and send pictures to our town papers. Oh, and did I mention Ms. Bethany and I decided this should be an annual thing. Next year I'm going to make her a felt fire for under the pot!

So have you met my challenge yet and donated a can of food to your local food pantry or soup kitchen? I hope so!! Please let me know if you have! You can also make a donation directly to the No Kid Hungry Campaign here. Thank you for helping us in our fight!

5 comments:

  1. What a wonderful organization. This summer some volunteers from our school coordinated a food drive through our neighborhood where we collected hundreds of bags of food to give to at-risk children when they would come to our school district's book mobile. It was very rewarding. BTW, I'm stopping by to thank you for playing the online Boo game!

    Bonny @ thedomesticatedprincess.com

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  2. This is such a great way to help children get involved!

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  3. Very exciting and hands on. I love that you are sharing this experience with your readers. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

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  4. Stone Soup is one of my favorite stories! Thanks for linking up to Waldorf Wednesday-- hope to see you again this week!
    http://ourseasonsofjoy.com/waldorf-wednesday-link-up/waldorf-wednesday-7/

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