Young Global Citizens: Global Awareness through Reading

Second Annual Maji Safi Read-a-Thon at Whittier International School

Read-a-thons are a great win-win situation where the participating students improve their own reading skills, learn global citizenship, and help others. Schools or individual families can do read-a-thons.

Like last year, students at Whittier International School in Boulder teamed up to support Maji Safi Group. This year, we worked with the three 2nd grade classes. For Global Handwashing Day on Oct. 15, 2013, we visited the classes where we talked about the importance of hand washing and showed the students how to wash their hands properly.

After Christmas break, we visited each class with a PowerPoint presentation that took them on a visual journey to Shirati to show them what life looks like there if you are a kid their age. Their eyes went big as they watched and we compared the lives of people in Shirati to those of Boulderites. We then ran the Read-a-thon and finished with a pizza party where the students learned about their reading results. Each Maji Safi reader received a thank you card made by a kid in Shirati, a certificate, and an ice cream coupon donated by Ben & Jerry’s.

The results were amazing! Twenty-seven students participated; they read 300 books; and they raised $1,955 for Maji Safi Group programs.

The children had two types of sponsors: sponsors they had found themselves (parents, grandparents, family friends, and neighbors) and our ‘outside sponsors’ who as a group pledged to pay the children $3 per book. The ‘outside sponsors’ have become an important and much appreciated part of the Maji Safi Read-a-thon because some kids want to be young global citizens, but their families are not in a position to donate or find sponsors. This year, one student had no personal sponsors, but he read 34 books, raising $102!


That is just amazing! Thank you for bringing this program to our children so they can grow their connections to the world and see just how their individual acts add up to big change.

 In gratitude,

Myriah Conroy (Whittier parent)


If you know of families or schools that would be interested in doing a Maji Safi Read-a-thon, please contact me at [email protected] . Our paperwork is available in English and Spanish.

Thank you Whittier students, 2nd grade teachers and sponsors!