Sharpen your vocab, feed the hungry

Confession: I have a knack for an embarrassingly horrific use of the English language. I think I was in my twenties when someone politely pointed out that I was pronouncing “fruition” as “fruitation.” I’ve downloaded an extension on my web browser that highlights all misspelled words in every application on my laptop. I’ve come to feel handicapped when I’m on someone else’s computer.

In my own defense, I’m very proactive about addressing this weakness. I subscribe to multiple word-of-the-day-emails and have downloaded another plug-in that lets me right click to get the definition of unknown words. But these approaches pale in comparison to the latest tool I’ve found that does far more than flex the brain’s language muscles. FreeRice is a website where your reward for each correct multiple choice vocab questions equates to 20 grains of rice donated to feed the hungry. The donations are made possible through website advertisers. The rice is then distributed by the UN World Food Program.

Studying for the L/SAT or just readying yourself to impress a date? Fill empty bellies while you’re filling your head with new words.


4 Comments

  • Hi Ashley, fun to see you cover this in your beautiful work. I wrote about it on Shaping Youth in this piece, “Game that nourishes kids minds, souls, and tummies” http://www.shapingyouth.org/blog/?p=803

    Along with a rather um…’interesting’ conundrum that transpired w/my own daughter trying to ‘game the system’ for a good cause. sigh.

    PEM wrote about the ‘other’ side of cause-marketing here, too: http://www.parentsforethicalmarketing.org/blog/2008/01/03/feed-a-starving-child-and-a-needy-ceo/

    Though I’ve gotta say, I’m ALL for it…as it was fully transparent and upfront about the logistics and purpose and I personally feel did a whole heckuvalotta good. In fact, I’m working on a piece now about the Hallmark Product(Red) campaign which cynics felt was probably produced elsewhere than Africa…but it was not…and I’ve got some great photos from folks on the creation of the cloth, etc.—very cool.

    Anyway, thinking of you lots, Ashley, as I’ll be using your body image art at my workshop at the 4/4 CCFC session on media’s impact on kids. When my e-mail gets back up and running and the book cover is finished, I’ll of course forward you some of the layouts as well!

    p.s. I’m hoping we can ‘animate’ it into part of the presentation w/some computer ‘factoids’ and stuff as rollovers on the screen. Stay tuned! (it’s probono, so I don’t want to ask for the moon, but I just LOVE that piece.) Brava! More, more!!

  • Ashley Cecil on

    I’m incredibly glad there serious critical thinkers out there questioning the integrity of these various feel-good/do-good ideas. It keeps us on our toes. And yes, I’ve heard a lot of skepticism at the (red) campaign, but my overall sense is that most of this ventures do have good intentions but have to be realistic about cost, marketing, and so on. It’s nonetheless a step in the right direction and raises awareness.

    Good luck at the workshop!

  • Hi – This “game” is great. I can see myself wasting hours testing my vocab in the name of feeding the hungry! Thanks.
    I’ve shared this with another forum to suck them in too.

    Your work is really lovely!


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