By Melissa Ford
Teacher: 6th grade boy from Roosevelt Middle School in River Forest.
Student: Me. . . actually, a really great woman from Oak Park with no knowledge about global hunger.
The Classroom: The Hunger Banquet at Dominican University in River Forest last Wednesday evening, November 17th.
The Lesson: A small breakout group (me, three college students, and my 6th grade teacher - I’ll call him Aaron) discussing our Hunger Banquet experience: eating small bowls of rice like 60% of the world population does on a daily basis, hearing that 24,000 children in the world (under the age of 5) die every day from hunger, and learning that Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry served 200 families in two hours the day of the Banquet! This is a 340% increase in meeting the needs of families in our communities between 2005 - 2009 and a 50% increase since last month!
Teachable Moment: Aaron, when asked what he felt he could do to help world hunger, said, "I didn’t know that people didn’t have food to eat. I thought everyone had food like me. I even get desserts and they don’t. I'm going to give some of my money to OPRF Food Pantry."
My Ah-Ha Moment: Here’s a 6th grade boy talking about donating money to help people take care of a profound basic need - FOOD - and I’m spending hundreds of dollars on food, flowers, and dessert for Thanksgiving. So, if a 6th grade boy is inspired and moved to give his money to the Food Pantry - what is a really great woman from Oak Park doing? Feeling grateful and humbling following the example of her 6th grade teacher.