September Is Hunger Action Month
At least one in four children in the United States lives with hunger this year, according to Feeding America, a hunger relief organization with a national network of foodbanks. In this issue of Upbeat News, we’re focusing on ways to increase empathy and take action against hunger. You’ll find book excerpts on deciding where to donate, generosity activities for young children, and additional ways to campaign against hunger. Read book excerpts.

We’re also pleased to spotlight Lulu and the Hunger Monster by Erik Talkin and illustrated by Sheryl Murray and its free leader’s guide. When Lulu’s mother’s van breaks down, money for food becomes tight and the Hunger Monster comes into their lives. Lulu and the Hunger Monster follows Lulu as she and her mom try to defeat Hunger Monster. To support Hunger Action Month, the author and Free Spirit Publishing will be donating 5 percent of book proceeds in September to Feeding America. Finally, our free download helps students develop a plan to take action in their communities.
Special Offer
Get free shipping on orders over $50 from Sale ends September 30, 2020. Use code FSSEPT at checkout.

*Excludes already discounted sets, clearance items, and eBooks.
New Release Spotlight: Lulu and the Hunger Monster
Lulu and the Hunger Monster is a realistic—and hopeful—story of food insecurity that builds awareness of the issue of childhood hunger, increases empathy for people who are food insecure, and demonstrates how anyone can help end hunger. Empower children to destigmatize the issue of hunger before the feeling turns into shame with this book and free leader’s guide. For the month of September, author Erik Talkin and Free Spirit Publishing will donate 5 percent of book proceeds to Feeding America.

To learn more about the book and its inspiration as well as more about food banks and what kids can do to fight the Hunger Monster, check out the Lulu and the Hunger Monster video playlist on YouTube.
Tips & Tools from the Free Spirit Blog
Counselor’s Corner blogger Barbara Gruener shares ideas to help students who aren’t getting the food they need. Read now.
Author and Foodbank CEO Erik Talkin offers ways to help food insecure students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read now.
Educational grants available for your school or community:

The Pilcrow Foundation provides matching grants to rural public libraries through the Children’s Book Project. The project aims to support the purchase of quality hardcover children’s books suited to the community and intended to enhance active children’s departments in libraries across the United States. The foundation provides a list of over 500 quality hardcover children’s book from which grant recipients can select books best suited for their community. The book list includes award-winning and star-reviewed titles from educational and literary organizations.

Eligibility: Public, Other (including homeschool, 501(c)(3) organizations)
Prize: Children’s books up to $1,200 in value are awarded
Application Deadline: October 1, 2020

The Braitmayer Foundation is interested in proposals utilizing innovative practices in K–12 education throughout the United States. Of particular interest are curricular and school reform initiatives and professional development opportunities for teachers, particularly those that encourage people of high ability and diverse background to enter and remain in K–12 teaching. Recent grant recipients include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives, school leadership programs, teachers as they engage students in science writing through an online journal, and the development of a new online course about designing and creating inclusive/accessible educational materials.

Eligibility: Public, Private, Charter, Other (including homeschool, 501(c)(3) organizations)
Prize: Grants up to $35,000 are awarded
Application Deadline: Letters of Inquiry are accepted February 1 through March 15, annually
Recent Review
“In this story illustrating the reality of childhood hunger and food insecurity, Lulu invites kids into her world to help them understand what it's like to battle the Hunger Monster. Lulu and the Hunger Monster delivers the right message at the right time, helping readers recognize the problem of childhood hunger and moving them to find solutions.”

—Jeff Bridges, actor and anti-hunger advocate
Free Download
This month’s free download helps students plan how to make a difference. The Taking Action in Our Community PDF from The Complete Guide to Service Learning by Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A., guides students through four steps to develop a plan to take action in their communities.

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Upcoming Events 

September 10: Free webinar presented by Richard M. Cash, Ed.D.: “Help Students Develop Critical Thinking Online and in the Classroom
View our webinar archive at
“Educating oneself is easy, but educating ourselves to help other human beings to help the community is much more difficult.”—César E. Chávez, social activist