Literacy Project Ideas
From the Literacy Task Force of Rotary District 5960
August 8, 2005
To: Rotary District club presidents and officers:
Subject: Literacy Challenge to all clubs from Governor Finholm
As you all know, literacy is one of RI's main focuses in Rotary's new century and President Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar has made it one of his three presidential emphases during 2005-06 Rotary year.
Promoting and supporting literacy projects and services throughout our district clubs is one of my top priorities as your governor during this Rotary year. With the district Literacy Task Force (LTF), I am issuing a challenge and a request to all district clubs.
The challenge: Each club will
1) implement one literacy project,
2) have one club meeting devoted to literacy topics, and
3) submit a brief description of your literacy project to be highlighted in my newsletter.
Click Here for Literacy Challenge Report Form for 2005-06
A special recognition at the District Conference in April will be given to clubs which have met this gubernatorial challenge. The District and the LTF wish to support your literacy efforts the best we can. The LTF is compiling a Literacy Resource List and Project Ideas to be distributed to your club Literacy Chair in September.
The Request: Each club submit the name and contact information of your club's Literacy Chair to the district LTF, Dana R, by Sept. 15, 2005. Your club Literacy Chair may be your club vocational service chair or any club member who is passionate about literacy and is willing to serve by sharing information from the LTF with your club and oversee the successful completion of the challenge.
The LTF also would like to invite any interested Rotarians to join their regular meetings. Contact the LTF chair, Margaret Johnson, for meeting information.
Lee Finholm, Governor
Rotary District 5960
The Literacy Task Force believes that in order to meet literacy needs in local communities, a club will do well by first talking to people and institutions within the club community (e.g. schools, community education centers, Minnesota/Wisconsin Literacy Council, childcare centers, hospitals, correction centers, libraries, AmeriCorps, community partnership program, program for at-risk youth, homeless and women’s shelters) to determine where and what the literacy needs are and how a Rotary club might best meet those needs. Below is a list of project ideas (and contact info) to spark your imagination. Be creative and feel free to take a project idea and modify it to fit the specific need in your schools or community programs. Some local projects can be easily adapted for an overseas project.
Literacy/ESL Tutors with MN Literacy Council (MLC) or Wisconsin Literacy
- MLC provides a full range of literacy services to adults, children, immigrants and local literacy programs in MN. Tutors are regularly needed to support local programs.
- For more information on MLC, go to www.theMLC.org; Contact Heather Cox, volunteer Outreach Coordinator, for service and volunteer opportunities. You may also contact Heather Cox for a speaker from MLC to speak at your club about literacy programs and needs in MN as well as in your community. Ms. Cox may be reached at 651-645-2277 ext. 219 or Email Heather Cox.
- For more information on WI Literacy contact Melissa Cooley at 608-257-1655 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For more information on a similar, national program Pro-Literacy America, go to http://www.proliteracy.org/
The Dictionary Project
The Imagination Library
- This project provides children with high-quality, age-appropriate children's books in the mail every month from birth until the age of 5.
- For more info, go to www.unitedwayfoothills.org (click on "community impact" and scroll down to the Imagination Library); to talk to Rotarian Diana Sherry (Boulder, Co) at 303-441-3142 or Email Diana Sherry, and Barbara Pingrey at 303-444-4013 or Email Barbara Pingrey to learn more about implementing this project.
The Books for Babies Project (aka Books for Newborns, Born to Read)
- This project encourages parents, the first and primary educators of their children, to read to their newborns. The project typically entails donating books to local hospitals. The sponsoring club presents the parent(s) of each newborn child with a book and some literature explaining why and how to read to the new child.
- For more information, go to the American Library Association for Library Service to Children at http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=literacy (click on 'Literacy' then click on 'Born to Read')
- Contact Christopher Rodger at Christopher Roger Email for their club experience in implementing this project.
- Reading buddies spend about one hour per week, helping their student buddies read, discussing the book they are sharing, and talking about their lives. Many school districts or Community Education Centers have this type of program.
- Similar reading programs such as Mother Read/Father Read, Summer Read, Everybody Wins may be part of your local community and family education centers.
- This is a partnership program between schools and businesses, designed to foster a better understanding of the community's school system, strengthen school programs and curricula, and create a sense of personal involvement and interaction between businesses and schools. The adopters (clubs or businesses) offer resources to meet school needs; plans are developed jointly by the adopter and the adoptee. The services provided to schools may include classroom assistance, occupational talks, support for special projects, etc.
Newspaper in Education
- This program provides newspaper in the classroom. The sponsoring club works with local newspaper(s) to provide newspapers to school classrooms.
- Many schools, adult and community education programs, and local service organizations may greatly appreciate donations of school supplies. This is especially true with rural schools in developing countries, where even pencils and notebooks are hard to come by.
Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP)
- The Guatemala Literacy Project is an initiative to provide much needed textbooks, library materials, and computer labs to underprivileged children in Guatemala. The on-going project has been supported by over 240 Rotary Clubs.
- For more information, go to http://www.coeduc.org/rotary.htm
- The GLP U.S. Rotary project co-coordinator is Glenn Chamberlain (Ephrata Club, WA), 509-754-3739 Glenn Chamberlain
Mini Library Project or Bookmobiles Project
- This project promotes literacy and better learning skills among the poor by establishing mini-libraries (reading books and groups) in small rural and urban schools and childcare centers.
If your club is interested in a presentation on how some large corporations volunteer in schools and/or an overview on various approaches (Great Ideas/Great Books) to K-12 education, contact Ken Dzugan at Ken Dzugan Email