Dear Google: an opportunity I hope you can’t refuse

I have a little project for you—a chance to do some real good in the world.

I teach high-school English. I know that my students need to read as much as possible, but I also know that reading alone will not give them the high-end vocabulary they will need for maximum success in school—for that, direct study of vocabulary words is required.

The best web site I know for this purpose,, is run by the United Nations’ World Food Program. It has many virtues. It repeats words that the student cannot define the first time. It automatically adjusts the level of vocabulary based on the student’s responses. For every correct answer, sponsors donate 10 grains of rice to help feed hungry people. It’s non-profit, and free to users. Brilliant!

However, the team running Freerice is small. They work on a limited budget. As a result, many more brilliant features that could be built in to the web site exist only on somebody’s list of great ideas.

This is where you could really help.

Why not temporarily release a small team of your programmers from their usual assignments and put them to work, as volunteers, to build Freerice into a really fabulous site that would attract even more students and teachers and generate more tons of food donations to the world’s poor people?

“Why me?” you might ask. Simple: your expertise in building Gmail and Google Docs puts you ahead of everyone else in this area. Not Apple, certainly not Microsoft. You are the best.

You could do this. You could make a real difference. How about it?