Academy students read to raise money to purchase cow

Third grade students in Lucy Swecker’s class at Academy Primary School in Buckhannon wanted to do a project to help others. After much research, they decided they wanted to raise $500 to purchase a cow from Heifer International.

Heifer International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending hunger and poverty while caring for the earth.

It provides livestock, trees, seeds and training in environmentally sound agriculture to families in more than 40 countries, including the United States.

Swecker said she thought it was a good idea, but at the time was doubtful the class could raise $500.

“The kids would read books and have sponsors donate for each book they read,” Swecker said. “I just was not sure they would be able to reach the $500 goal.”

But the class and the donors worked hard and surpassed their goal.

“The first thing the students asked to do was skip recess and use ‘their time’ to create posters to spread the word and let others know what they were doing,” Swecker said. “They raised an amazing $625.40. Along with the cow, we will be able to purchase three rabbits, a flock of chickens and a flock of ducks.”

Students in Swecker’s class hosted a “heifer day” Tuesday to celebrate their success. Guest speaker Steve Butler from the West Virginia Farm Bureau, Inc. spoke about the life of a beef farmer. Students reported on their activities, read poems and sang songs about their project to help others in need.

“I am so proud of each and every one of these kids,” Swecker said. “The animals we were able to purchase will be given to families in need. With the animals also comes training to help them with the animals.”

All students wore milk mustaches Tuesday during their celebration. Chick Fil A of Bridgeport sent stuffed cows and gift certificates for Swecker’s students.

Snack for the celebration included, of course, chocolate milk and string cheese.