Read to Feed – A Program for Masaajid

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim
Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah
Okay, so I was a good girl and got up promptly when the alarm went off this morning.  I made a nice suhoor (pre-fast meal) of eggs, turkey bacon, toast, and dates.  Yes, I buttered the toast, but no jam.  The baby woke up with us, which makes preparing food a challenge.  I can’t really trust my drowsy husband to keep track of him because, well, let’s just say Sherif is not terribly effective when he first wakes up (translate:  he’s a zombie).  So I did suhoor then fajr came in and then Zaid was wide awake so I stayed up with him while everyone else went back to bed.
Eventually the little monster – uh, sweetheart – slept and of course instead of going to sleep myself I went on Facebook.  Yeah, pitiful, I know.  So I was catching up on Project Conversion and my friend Andrew Bowen had written a new blog post wherein he challenged Muslims to put our money where our mouth is in regards to feeding the hungry.  Go read the post.  Don’t worry, I’ll wait….
Okay, back?  Good.   Well, his post inspired me.   I decided to start a program in our masjid called “Read to Feed”.  Last year, my son’s elementary school instituted this program.  Students read books.  Students take a test on each book and then are awarded points based on the size and complexity of the book, from one point for a beginner book read by a Kindergarten student to up to forty points for a multi-chapter book.  The school kept track of all points, and for every 10,000 points, they donated $500 to a local food bank.  Now, sure, they could have just solicited donations from families, but by tying the money to the accomplishments of the children, they were able to teach the kids the value of reading and the value of helping out in the community.  I know my son felt very proud of his contribution to the effort, and indeed he was recognized and was given an award for most points at the end of the year, masha Allah.
So.  How about it?  I think it would be a noble cause and it can easily be adapted to our masaajid.   I also started A Facebook page so people all over the world could share information, give ideas, and perhaps start programs in their own communities.  Not bad for an idea that arose out of sleeplessness, huh?  See, there is a real blessing in staying up after fajr :) .
I hope you will join me as I try to establish this program.  I’ve never done anything like this before so I will need all the input and creative criticism I can get.  So mosey on over to Facebook and join the page, will ya?  Jazaak Allah Khair.


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