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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

How Does Increased Vocabulary Help End Hunger?

Posted by admin | December 21st, 2007 | Filed under Positive Change, Who We Are

Quick, define “anemophilous.” Don’t know? That’s OK, neither did I. What if I told you that you could learn the answer while helping fight hunger? All you need to do is visit freerice.org. Created by John Breen, a father trying to come up with a better, more engaging (and interactive) way to help his kids learn vocabulary, Free Rice is addicting in its simplicity. All you do is choose from multiple-choice definitions of a featured word. But the part that moves it beyond enjoyable, to a compelling act of positive change, is that for every word you get correct, Free Rice donates 20 grains of rice to the United Nation’s hunger relief efforts. You see, Breen already had a passion: Working to end world poverty and hunger. His first website, poverty.com, is a tremendous resource for learning about global hunger, and taking action against it.

I love words, and not just in the “I really like to read” way. I’m the kind of person who could spend hours in the hammock with the Oxford American Dictionary and call it a good day (bourbon helps with this). So it was with great joy that I discovered Free Rice earlier this fall. Since it’s creation in October, Free Rice has donated 10,604,716,470 grains of rice, and I’m glad to know that I’ve helped. So far, I’ve hit the wall at level 46. Let me know if you crack that (without a dictionary). Oh, anemophilous, which was my most recent nemesis, means “wind-pollinated.”

6 Responses to “How Does Increased Vocabulary Help End Hunger?”

  • December 26, 2007 at 10:53 pm | meow says

    The website is .com not .org. It is a for profit organisation which just happens to donate all of its advertising profits to its cause.

    It is a fun site.

  • January 6, 2008 at 12:27 am | sofong says

    48 on first visit, bookmarked

  • January 6, 2008 at 12:09 pm | Otis says

    Nice work sofong. I was sure someone would take the challenge! Now I just need to work on my Latin roots a little more.

  • January 17, 2008 at 11:17 pm | Vera says

    Yeah pal,
    Haven’t checked the blog in a few weeks, but have independently discovered free rice, and also achieved level 46.
    10,700 grains of rice and counting.
    I’d say at least 11,000 grains of brain.
    Except perhaps that previous sentence proves otherwise.
    I love coming on here expecting to write about something and finding that all the Nau nerds across the country are on some telepathic wavelength… after submitting my piece about “the story of stuff” to Rick the day before Ian posted his, and now this? It’s starting to get a little creepy.

  • January 18, 2008 at 10:44 am | Otis says

    Nice work Vera. 46 seems like a pretty good plateau, though sofong up there must have a part job editing dictionaries! Thanks for the note, and your ongoing contributions!



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