… in Niantic, Conn., the children of the Niantic Community Church wanted to donate money for a good cause. They decided to buy goats for African villagers through Heifer International, a venerable aid group based in Arkansas that helps impoverished farming families.
A dairy goat in Heifer’s online gift catalog costs $120; a flock of chicks or ducklings costs just $20.
One of the goats bought by the Niantic church went to Beatrice’s parents and soon produced twins. When the kid goats were weaned, the children drank the goat’s milk for a nutritional boost and sold the surplus milk for extra money.
The cash from the milk accumulated, and Beatrice’s parents decided that they could now afford to send their daughter to school. She was much older than the other first graders, but she was so overjoyed that she studied diligently and rose to be the best student in the school.
Beaytrice was an excellent student and started to win scholarships that took her finally to Conn College. Kristoff says:
When people ask how they can help in the fight against poverty, there are a thousand good answers, from sponsoring a child to supporting a grass-roots organization through globalgiving.com. (I’ve listed specific suggestions on my blog, nytimes.com/ontheground, and on facebook.com/kristof).
“Children who go out today will need to wear their raincoats.” This might look like a simple statement of fact, but most children so advised by a parent would surely know that they are being told to do something if they go outside. What looks like a simple statement of fact can in fact be an order or a request or something else again. (For some Jender posts on kinds of speech acts, see here.)
A film from the 1950’s meant to tell foreigners about the London Bus system raises all sorts of questions about what is going on with the uses of language. So what do you hear?