You may have already heard about FreeRice.com, the place where by playing a game to strengthen your vocabulary free rice donations are sent to the hungry. And you, like us, may have thought “this can’t be real.” But we’re here to tell you that it is true, and FreeRice.com, the brainchild of John Breen, is fun, educational, and worthy!
Here’s how it works – you go to FreeRice.com – which Breen first conceived to help his own children boost their vocabulary when his son was studying for his SAT – and you are provided with a vocabulary word, along with four possible definitions, only one of which is the right one. Every time you select the correct definition, Breen and his site donate the cost of 20 grains of rice to the World Food Programme, which uses the funds to buy rice to feed the poor and hungry. The funds come from advertisers who support the site – and the site itself makes no profit.
We contacted Breen, and asked him about FreeRice.com, and his experience using the Internet to help end world hunger (and reduce illiteracy – or, at least, inarticulateness – in the process!), and here is what he told us:
“One reason I designed FreeRice was for myself. As a computer programmer, I need to take a break every hour or two. On these breaks I frequently found myself reading random articles on the Internet about news or sports or the latest celebrity or something, and would often look up ten minutes later and say to myself, What was I reading THAT for? So I wanted something to do for 5 minutes on the Internet that might actually have some benefit to me. So I made FreeRice partly to improve my own vocabulary. Hopefully other people will find it entertaining, fun, and useful – and while they are learning, they will be donating free rice to help end world hunger.”
We say “good on ya, John!”, and we hope that you will all take a moment to play a round of vocabulary challenge, and buy a round of rice for the hungry, at FreeRice.com
And then, let us know how you did!