Friday, November 23, 2007

A Grain At A Time

Want to improve your vocabulary and feed the hungry around the world? Here's how:

Go to and play a game. It's that simple. The game is a multiple choice vocabulary game. A word comes up and four choices of a definition are offered. Pick the correct definition and 10 grains of rice appear in the bowl to the side of the page. Three correct answers put the player in a higher level. So, it doesn't become boring and the challenge continues.

This caught my eye through a newspaper article explaining the process and the web site's creator, John Breen, age 50, from Bloomington, Indiana. That was of interest to me as it is the hometown of my husband and his mother is still there. I lived there for several years, too. This guy has created other sites that deal with hunger and poverty and earlier this year did one called which "bluntly explores and depicts a U.N. finding that 25,000 people a day die from the effects of hunger.", according to the article by Edward M. Eveld of McClatchy Newspapers.

Originally Breen was going to make a math game out of the site but decided on a vocabulary game instead. His inspiration was his son's SAT prep. Names of advertisers pop up during the game at the bottom of the site. Their fees are donated to the UN World Food Programme which pays for the rice earned by correct answers. Breen acknowledges that 10 grains of rice is minuscule but says that the numbers add up. The first day the site was up and running, October 7, the site donated 830 grains of rice. As of last week, 850 million grains of rice have been donated.

Make no mistake about my feelings toward the U.N. in general. I think it is a criminally corrupt organization with very little hope of ever turning itself around. I think their humanitarian and peacekeeping goals are lost forever. The only success that can be credited to the U.N. today is their ability to distribute food to the hungry. If it doesn't require much courage.

Maybe this and other efforts out there will encourage the U.N. to remember their mission in the world and save some lives. We can hope.

The game is fun and I learn new words. Go on over and give it a try. Couldn't hurt.


Beverly said...

When I saw the Halloween Hangman on someone's blog, I went there and then posted it on mine. There I saw the freerice site. I've contributed quite a few grains. I love the quizzes.

heidianne jackson said...

this is great. i agree that the u.n. is a criminally corrupt organization run by despots, communists and militants. that said, i believe that they can help in the fight against world hunger. going to go play the game now. thanks for sharing!

btw, hope your turkey day was wonderful!

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I saw this on the Chris Jericho message board (don't laugh! It's not nice), and apparently the person who posted it also confirmed it's legit with Pretty cool.

Incognito said...

How cool is that! Thanks for this.
Off I go.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Karen - thanks for the cool vocabulary creating device. For the record - I have not sworn any oaths to use it for only good.

Frasypoo said...

Will check it out,sounds like fun