Lesson 20.9: Science Connection

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Booking U.N. Day

Did you know that more than 113 million children around the world do not go to school? Most of those children do not know how to read or write.

The United Nations (U.N.) is working to solve that problem. The U.N. is an organization made up of countries around the world. The countries work to promote world peace and to better the lives of poor people, both adults and children.

The U.N. was formed on October 24, 1945. Each year, the United States president asks people to observe this anniversary as U.N. Day. In one recent year, the day focused on literacy, which is the ability to read and write.

Recognizing U.N. Day

Many communities around the world celebrate U.N. Day. Some schools participate in special projects to draw attention to the need to improve reading skills.

To do its part for this special day, the Weekly Reader Company donated 800 children's books to a literacy organization in Darien, Connecticut. The organization, called the Book Aid Plan, is run by volunteers. The volunteers help put books into the hands of people in need around the world.

Books With Weight

Book Aid receives letters from people who are setting up schools and libraries in poor areas of the United States as well as in countries as far away as Romania, Thailand, and China. It gets the most requests for children's books. Based on the letters they receive, the volunteers at Book Aid decide which books to send. Then they pack the boxes.

When one class in Oregon read about Book Aid, the students and their teacher decided to get involved. The teacher promised to find some way to pay the shipping costs if her students would bring in some books that they no longer wanted to keep.

One child brought in 40 books! “Half are mine and the others are my little brother's. I'm happy to be donating them,” she said. “But it's sad that people don't know how to read or even have any books to read at all.”

Recently, Book Aid shipped more than 50,000 pounds of books to almost 100 different countries. “We may think a shipment is small, but we'll hear from the people who receive it saying that we tripled the size of their library,” said Barbara Gardner, the president of Book Aid. “The books are tokens that really help people out.”

Word Wise

organization:
A formal business or social group that has a certain purpose: Little League is a national organization.

promote:
To help the growth of something: Brushing and flossing your teeth promotes good dental health.

observe:
Celebrate an occasion: We observe July 4th as the birthday of our nation.

To make a gift of something: People may donate money to be used for medical research.

request:
Ask for something: We wrote to Book Aid to request information on how we can help.

token:
Something that represents an event or emotion: After Robin helped me with math, I gave her a small gift as a token of thanks.

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Activity

The word “organization” ends in the letters -tion. See how to write some of your other vocabulary words with the ending -tion.
promotion observation donation

Copy each sentence using one of the -tion words above.

  1. We are having a party to celebrate my little brother's blank.gif to first grade.
  2. Take the elevator up to the blank.gif deck, where you can see the whole city.
  3. Please make a small blank.gif to help poor children.

Data Hunt

Stump your Classmates

You just read “Booking U.N. Day.” Now write a math problem using information from the article. Give your word problem to a classmate to solve. Be sure to have the solution on another piece of paper.

Here's an example:

The Weekly Reader Company donated a total of 800 books to a literacy organization. If the literacy organization took these books and gave the same number of books to each of 5 different schools, how many books did each school receive? Explain your answer.

Answer: Each school received 160 books. I divided 800 by 5.
800 ÷ 5 = 160