Sunday, November 11, 2007

Back to School in December

As a former teacher, married to a current one, who currently resides on a school campus, I have seen first-hand the incredible power of student initiated action. Many of these students, most of whom are not even old enough to vote, have done something tangible about poverty, war, and injustice. On December 5th, students all over the country will once again have a chance to take action to help those displaced and in danger due to the atrocities in Darfur.

DarfurFast, sponsored by STAND (Student Anti-Genocide Coaltion), asks students to organize a day of fasting on December 5th. Participants are asked to give up one comfort item, such as a cup of coffee, and donate the money they would have spent to help feed and protect displaced Darfuri women and children. Just $3 can protect one person for a year. Students all over the country are already registering their schools and encouraging fellow students, family members, and those in their community to participate.

STAND, in partnership with the Genocide Intervention Network, provides educational materials to help spread the word about the situation in Darfur, as well as a link to register your school for the fast.

For more information about the situation in Darfur, I recommend that you read Not on Our Watch, by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast, any of Nick Kristof's many editorials about the situation in The New York Times, or visit ENOUGH, "the project to abolish genocide and mass atrocities." After doing your homework, challenge your representatives in Congress to do the same. You can visit Genocide Intervention's Darfur Scores to see whether or not your Representatives and Senators are making the grade. Some of them really need to raise their scores on this one.

For extra credit, (listen up Scrabble lovers and high SAT score seekers), visit It is the sister site of Free Rice's two goals are, "To provide English vocabulary to everyone for free, and to help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free." The free rice is supplied by the advertising sponsors, and the more words you know the more rice they donate! Students working to end mass atrocities and hunger is something we should all be able to stand behind. Take a few moments to help end world hunger, and join DarfurFast on December 5th.

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