Blog entry 10 Grains, 20 Students, A Little Less Hunger

30 March 2011

Simon Bruns is good at maths, and he has the rice to prove it.

The 12-year-old from Germany attends the International Community School (ICS) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The aspiring astronomer sits in his sixth grade mathematics class, leaning into his laptop, clicking on answers faster than the computer can load the questions:

888 – 222 =
642 + 322 =
43 x 75 =

He’s playing Freerice as part of ICS’s first Freerice Week, a student-organized event that aimed to get sixth, seventh and eighth graders playing the online quiz and learning about hunger issues.

The event was the brainchild of Kara Hostetter and Jennifer Thieulin, 16 year-old students at ICS. They recognized that it was important to talk about hunger issues, especially in Ethiopia:

“We’re part of a school that’s really privileged. We have access to a lot of things, including food every day,” Kara explains. “Even though we live in Ethiopia and there’s a lot of hunger around us, we aren’t necessarily aware of it. We planned Freerice Week because we wanted to raise awareness of the global issues outside of our ‘box’.” Watch the video below, where they talk more about their idea.

Using other schools’ Freerice activities as a model, Kara and Jennifer enlisted the support of the middle school principal and began approaching teachers, requesting that they integrate Freerice into regular class time during the week. Proving an immensely popular idea, thousands of grains of rice were ‘earned’ for children around the world.

To encourage reflection and discussion about hunger, the week concluded with a presentation from Gerard Rebello, Deputy Head of Logistics of WFP Ethiopia. About 100 students sat rapt as they watched a video showing WFP’s work, from children enjoying school meals to boats fording rivers to reach people in need. The video stimulated questions from the basic “How does WFP get food?” to the practical “What if food falls on someone during an airdrop?”

The week got students like Simon thinking about their food for the first time. “Sometimes I get embarrassed when I eat food in front of people who don’t have any,” he reflects. But he knows that the 1230 grains of rice he earned today are making a small difference. “I feel like I’m doing something to help,” he smiles.

If your school or class has organised a similar event, please let us know in the comments below so we can inspire others?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 05:53 Connor Stockbridge

This is gonna be a daily thing for me now... at least when i have access to my computer

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 01:49 RobinJlee

I am homeschooled so I can free rice all of the time!!!!

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 16:04 Stacy123

kids now are really awesome...they know what is going on in the world right now.
"Youth is the HOPE of our future" we have to take care of them.

Sat, 04/16/2011 - 10:24 bobbiegogrobbie

I did this speech last year to my 5th grade teacher and I got everyone in my class to start using freerice.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:01 bridgetgirl

i am in 6th grade and i wanna earn 99999999999 grains of rice :)

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 11:02 SomeNiceGuy

I will see if I can discuss this with the principal, and since everyone in our school has a laptop and the school provides us with internet access, expect to see us coming!

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 04:43 MuhammadUsmanRules

I agree that Freerice needs more subjects. There are some that are really hard (paintings, for me) And some too easy (level 5 grammar).

Wed, 04/13/2011 - 01:12 Violet2334

nice job on the video !(:

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 18:18 Ms. Price Class

well im gona earn
100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000grains of rice in an hour

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 23:25 LuoAll

1. 666
2. 964
3. 3225

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 03:32 chickenz3

i might try to get my school to do this

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 03:06 poplulu9090

like the vid, I'm gonna earn 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 grains of rice!

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 01:47 arabiangal110

That is awesome! Kids really can make a difference! ;)

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 03:14 coolman43

I agree with SciencePro14

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 03:10 cookooj

While you're helping fill bellies, don't forget to save our earth! GO GREEN TEAM FOREVER!!!!!

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 02:39 cookooj

Sweet. I'm in 5th grade and my teacher got the whole class hooked on Freerice. In March, my class of 18 kids did over 400,000 grains for March Madness Freerice but it is pathetic because last year her class of 20 kids did almost 2,000,000.

Mon, 04/04/2011 - 22:48 INEEDANA

This kid is a boss

Mon, 04/04/2011 - 22:47 INEEDANA

what a beast

Mon, 04/04/2011 - 14:07 lilygilder

Wonderful idea!

@Belmopan and Thantophobe: You can change the level in the bar under the question.

Mon, 04/04/2011 - 11:31 shirley18225

I really want to know the answer : What if food falls on someone during an airdrop?

Mon, 04/04/2011 - 03:57 Icestar owns heatclaw

Thats awesome

Mon, 04/04/2011 - 00:12 S_U_GS_60750

i really want to do that with my school too i will talk to my teacher about ti later.

Mon, 04/04/2011 - 00:10 S_U_GS_60750

what is their group name i think it is ics but i am not sure i also want to join their group. when i click on ics it says no one donated any grains of rice. and also it says on freerice that they are only 5 pages of groups!! does anybody have any answers?

Sun, 04/03/2011 - 23:34 LukeBT

Thats really nice, I think that I'll ask my teacher about that. I'm kinda new so I have only gotten about 6000 grains of rice, but at our school after we finish up our stuff in the computer lab, we have free time so I free rice. :)

Sun, 04/03/2011 - 18:18 Saber

vrai! tres facile aider @ Freerice!

Sun, 04/03/2011 - 02:51 beef12345

That is not amazing

Sat, 04/02/2011 - 22:41 SciencePro14

Dear Freerice Team,

This is just a suggestion........ Wouldn't it be better if you had different categories in Math? Like maybe, say Algebra, Geometry, Trig., Calculus, and others....... And how about a science section too?? So it could be challenging to others a bit older than the standardized Pre-Algebra and Multiplication Tables?


Sat, 04/02/2011 - 22:25 SciencePro14

This AWESOME!!!!!!!!! I learned about Freerice in Elementary School........ Now I'm in Middle School........ Anyway, I will talk to my principal to try to get my school to do this, the more people doing this the less hunger in the world!! But, we DO have a busy schedule I rarely have a class with free time AND computers at the same time.... What's wrong with trying though??!!

Sat, 04/02/2011 - 16:51 myn111

My school went to free rice for read across america week!!!!!

Sat, 04/02/2011 - 10:44 cathysinoz

At Vermont Secondary College in Melbourne, we hold a Free Rice competition every year. Year 7 students play before/after school and lunches/recess for 4 weeks then have the top three players in each class compete in a 'fry-off' competition. Students raised nearly 1 million grains of rice last year. =)

Sat, 04/02/2011 - 07:11 ryanorules321

our class in fifth grade just started an account and we are chalanging all the other grades at our school!

Fri, 04/01/2011 - 20:26 thekatiemonster

way to go!:)

Fri, 04/01/2011 - 20:02 thekatiemonster

you lost the game!!!!!

Fri, 04/01/2011 - 14:11 Bijou

I wish my school did that!!

Fri, 04/01/2011 - 08:48 purpleshine

that's cool

Fri, 04/01/2011 - 05:01 AquaDracon

Yeah, how DO you get those math problems? I need a real challenge, being in high school and all.

Fri, 04/01/2011 - 03:34 WHAT_ABOUT_ELEPHANTS


Fri, 04/01/2011 - 01:27 Vaktovian Cadet

I agree with peace kepper ive only heard a link as we did review i think i'll try and get my school to do this

Thu, 03/31/2011 - 05:42 pitcher12k

This is so wonderful!!! Thank you for being a great example, I am sure there will be many classes that follow! :D

Thu, 03/31/2011 - 01:28 Peacekeeper123

That is really cool! I wish our school would do that! I think that will let us go on the website at the end of the year though. I can't wait!

Thu, 03/31/2011 - 01:15 Thantophobe

How can you get those math problems?

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